Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Ajay Kumar believes that first half lead was crucial in Bulls' win over Thalaivas
The Tamil Thalaivas’ final, desperate charge for a home win proved to be fruitless as they succumbed to a 35-45 defeat at the hands of the Bengaluru Bulls.The match also brought the curtains down on the Chennai leg of PKL 5.
The result meant that the Thalaivas joined Dabang Delhi as the only teams in Season 5 with the dubious distinction of losing all of their home matches.
Ajay Kumar and his captain, Rohit Kumar, ably led the Bulls’ raiding as they helped maintain a good lead between themselves and the Thalaivas. Rohit put on a clinical performance as he picked up 17 efficient points to keep deflating the Thalaivas’ hopes.
Meanwhile, Ajay had as many raids as Rohit had points, but his six points and use of the raiding clock to the maximum also played a key role.
“Rohit and me had decided that he would take the lead and that I would back him up and make sure he is always revived”, said Bulls raider, Ajay Kumar.
“That's the reason why we were able to build such a big lead and throughout the game, we managed to keep it. That was the reason why we were able to pull the win off somewhat easily despite the Tamil Thalaivas’ superb comeback in the closing stages”, Ajay went on to add.
Bulls coach Randhir Singh Sherawat, who has confessed many times about his desire to work with young players, pointed out the inexperience of his team's opponents as their main obstacle.
“There are two teams in this league who have the maximum number of young players - the Tamil Thalaivas first and the Bengaluru Bulls second.
"Gujarat Fortunegiants are third in this regard, also with a young side. Their team (Thalaivas) lacks the experience at the moment, which is why they are making these mistakes.
"But they will get that with time”, assured Sherawat.
The Thalaivas were disappointed at not ending their home leg on a positive note, despite the playoffs being well out of reach. Their spirited comeback at the end raised the hopes of their fans, but they had been in too big a hole as they'd suffered two All Outs in the first half itself.
A rueful Thalaivas coach, K. Baskaran said: “Yes, unfortunately we couldn't finish with a win. We've had injuries to five key players during this leg - Lee, Thivakaran, Pradap. Prapanjan and Ajay Thakur have also played with injuries. Being the home leg, they couldn't back away and have played through it with lot of courage."
Ajay Thakur and Prapanjan fared quite well with the former picking up yet another Super 10 and the latter chipping in with a few points as well. It was the defence, though, that let the side down again - which has been the case for much of this home leg.
But coach Baskaran didn't want to dwell on that saying that once a match is done, it is about trying to get the players back up and ready for the next game.
“There are plenty of things that we can learn from our mistakes and we aim to. But also, we want to try and finish the remaining matches as best as possible and whomever is fit and available, I will get them in shape to go out there and play”, the Thalaivas coach rounded off.
The result sees the two teams swap places at the bottom of Zone B, with both well off the pace as far as the race to the playoffs is concerned.