Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: Had a plan to keep Ajay Thakur quiet, claims Patna Pirates coach
Puneri Paltan outsmarted by a fresh Patna Pirates side in their first fixture
Puneri Paltan’s dream start to the tournament came to a halt on Monday as they lost their third game of the season to defending champions Patna Pirates. The team led by Manjeet Chillar were outshone by Patna Pirates who led them 16-10 at the halfway stage and went on to seal a comfortable victory with an eventual scoreline reading 30-24. Puneri Paltan’s captain zeroed in on the weak defence of his side as the reason for the loss apart from the visible tiredness.
The team was playing its third game in as many days and looked tired on the mat. Meanwhile, Patna Pirates were playing their first match of the season. Earlier, the Puneri Paltan side had pulled off back to back wins against Telugu Titans and U Mumba. The team had stunned Mumbai when they handed them one of the heaviest defeats of the league on Sunday by beating them 41-19.
But the team failed to put up a similar show against a spirited Patna Pirates side. Ajay Thakur, who was the star of the match against U Mumba looked particularly off colour and had to be replaced in the first half itself. Patna’s coach Arjun Singh said in the post match presentation that the team had special plans in place for Thakur.
Speaking after the loss, Captain Manjeet Chillar said, “I think our defence wasn't up to the mark . We've played three matches now. So obviously tiredness sets in. I'm sure we'll beat Patna in the return fixture.” The team will meet Patna now on 23rd of July at the same venue in Mumbai, which is now Pune’s home ground.
The team has the dubious record of having not won against Patna ever in the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. With the kind of form that they had picked in the first two matches, it had seemed that the team might register their maiden win against them. But the fresh legs of Patna Pirates were no match for the tired legs of Puneri Paltan.
Patna’s coach was visibly pleased with his team’s performance. The strategy of strengthening the defence in the auctions paid dividends for the team at least in the first match. Coach Arjun Singh gleamed with pride when talking about the match. “We had a plan to keep Ajay Thakur quiet and thankfully it worked. Our defence and offence worked in unison. Our corner defenders Fazal and Bajirao played very well. When we entered the auction we had decided to build a strong defensive team being defending champions,” said the Patna coach.
Pune will face Dabang Delhi on Tuesday for their 4th consecutive match and will look forward to cut down on the mistakes that led to the defeat against the Patna Pirates.