Interview with Sandeep Narwal: "Patna Pirates have to win all 3 remaining matches"
Patna Pirates got the better of Bengal Warriors in Bengaluru in their 11th match of the second season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. The team were rocked by news of injury to captain Rakesh Kumar after their first match at home, two weeks ago. However, one man has stepped up when it mattered the most and took over the team captaincy.
22-year-old Sandeep Narwal has been the man behind steering the Pirates’ ship to revival and on the verge of a semi-final spot. After Patna’s narrow 34-32 win over the Warriors, Sportskeeda caught up with the star all-rounder, who spoke about the match, captaincy and a host of other topics.
Here are the excerpts:
Q: How are you feeling after the win?
We all are really happy for the win as we still have a chance to qualify for the semi-finals. If we would have lost this match, we would not have any chance to qualify.
Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Rakesh Kumar after the win?
Not yet, as the head coach and team manager are the ones who are in touch with him.
Q: Today we saw, Gurvinder Singh stepping up for the team and collecting 11 points in the process, Is this the reason for you holding yourself back in the raiding department?
Yes, that is the reason I held myself back. If a raider is performing well, then he should be given ample support to perform and a chance to shine as well.
Q: From the time you have become the captain after Rakesh Kumar got injured, you have been concentrating more on defending, rather than raiding. Is this the strategy you thought you will use after you were given the captaincy?
Actually, I suffered an injury on my hand. That is the reason I was holding myself back in terms of raiding. From the next match onwards, you will get to see more of me raiding in the match.
Q: How do you plan to make the semi-finals?
For us to qualify for the semis, we have 3 matches left and we have to win all three.
Q: What will be your preparation for the next 3 matches?
We have added pressure on us that if we lose even a single match out of three, we will not be able to qualify for the semi-finals. So we have to take every match one at a time and play as if each is a knock-out tie.
Q: Ravi Dalal scored 7 points today. What are your thoughts on his performance?
He has done well in this match, and he will do much better in the next match.
Q: How serious is his injury?
We have to ask the physio for the update. If it is not serious, then only he will play in the next match. But, if it is serious, we have players like Deepak Narwal, who have the quality to step up and perform.