Pro Kabaddi 2016, Season 4: Victory has charged team for rest of the tournament, says Rishank Devadiga
Rishank Devadiga's three point do-or-die raid turned the match on its head.
Rain might have soothed the senses in the capital but Dabang Delhi’s loss in the Pro Kabaddi left many of its fans disappointed. The Eagles went down fighting against U Mumba in the 11th match and ended 2 points behind U Mumba’s 27 when the final whistle signalled the end of the game. The team is still seeking their first victory in the fourth season and despite ringing in lots of changes before the season, they are once again staring down the barrel like the first three seasons.
Dabang coach Sagar Bandekar, who pledged a turnaround in the team’s fortunes before the season started, pointed to team’s inability to handle pressure towards the end of the match as the reason for the loss. “There were several ups and downs in the match. It was a point-to-point encounter and I think that the players were unable to handle the pressure at the end,“ he said while talking to the media in the post-match press meet. “We lost 3 crucial points in Rishank’s do-or-die raid. It was a severe blow for the team at that moment and really made the difference in the result.”
Delhi’s skipper Kashiling Adake, who has looked off-colour in this season, also zeroed in on Devadiga’s do-or-die raid as the turning point. “We played well but the last 3 minutes took away the game from us. At one stage, we were leading the game but those 3 points from Rishank’s do-or-die raid shifted the momentum,” he said. Adake also admitted that the team’s strategy failed. “Actually we were using the third raid policy in the match. We were focussing on the Do-or-die raids basically. But the plan went wrong and the match slipped from our control.“
U Mumba coach Bhaskaran Edacherry was pleased with his team’s performance. Drawing parallels between the team’s last match and this match, he said, “This match resembled the situation of our last game where we lost the match very closely at the end against Patna Pirates, despite fighting hard.I am happy that the players didn’t repeat the errors of the last game and converted this one into a win.”
The coach also threw light on how the equations have changed in the 4th season due to the auctions where settled combinations were uprooted and new combinations were to be formed. ”The auction provided enough cushion to balance the teams. Most of the teams have managed to get their mix right but some are still struggling and can be considered as weak. Our team is also struggling and now we are trying to eliminate our mistakes and play a better game in coming fixtures.“
Despite the initial setbacks due to the newness of the unit, the coach sounded positive about his team’s prospects. “We have players from various parts of the country and they are all united. We are improving in terms of co-ordination and working hard to get on track.”
The win’s major architect Rishank Devadiga looked relieved with his own, and more importantly, team’s performance. Talking to the press, he said, “It was unfortunate that we lost two games in a row, one with a big margin and the other one closely.Coach motivated our team for the coming matches and rectified our mistakes. Win and loss are a part of game. This victory has charged us for the coming matches and I hope we will continue with the same spirit.”