Pro Kabaddi 2019, Match 55: "Lots of positives to take, but repetitive mistakes costing us," says Tamil Thalaivas coach E Bhaskaran after winless home leg
The home side actually had an advantage early in the match as they led 12-6 with just about 3 minutes remaining in the 1st half. However, U Mumba whittled it down to a 2-point deficit at half-time with some sharp raiding and a Super Tackle.
But the momentum quickly reversed in the opening minutes of the 2nd half as U Mumba secured the All Out to take a 19-15 lead in the match after which they never trailed. Once again it was a case of what could have been as Thalaivas coach Edacherry Bhaskaran and captain Ajay Thakur took to the podium afterwards to sum up their home leg performance.
"Overall in this home leg, there have been lots of positives to take and my players have played very well. They have given it their full effort," said Bhaskaran.
"I have no complaints about that. But, somewhere we have been making the same mistakes at crucial junctures again and again. And this has been costing us the matches. We have built up good positions in all the games, but then surrendered it with these errors," he continued.
He also added, "But we cannot look back and say that mistakes happen. We need to correct this now. The whole team knows where we are falling short. Before we hit the next Delhi leg we need to get rid of these habits from our system. We are still in a good position in the table, but if we don't eliminate these errors, we will not be able to climb up the table."
Captain Ajay Thakur also chimed in on the decision-making debate over who would raid between him and Rahul Chaudhari and whether that was affecting the team.
"Rahul is one of the best raiders in the league. At any particular time on the mat, we decide who will go into raid. There is no pre-decided order. It also depends on which side of the defence is working well for the opposition and who's on the court for them", explained Thakur.
The skipper was also pleased with the emergence of new faces such as Vineet Sharma and V Ajith Kumar in this home leg. "I'm happy that they stepped up. Playing without Manjeet Chhillar is a huge loss, but Vineet Sharma really shone stepping into that role. And Ajith, you have all seen what he can do. So I'm glad they both took their opportunities," he said.
U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali was delighted to get another win. His defence performed very well indeed as they scored 11 tackle points compared to just 6 from the Thalaivas. Four of their defenders scored at least 2 tackle points and all five defenders who played, made at least 1 successful tackle.
He said, "The team got the win which was very important. My 3 tackle points would have made no difference had the team lost. So that is the main thing."
The star for U Mumba today was raider Athul MS, who had played for Tamil Thalaivas in Season 6. He was the best raider in the match on both sides with 7 raid points and proved to be a tough nut for the Thalaivas defence.
Asked about his performance he said, "The coach and captain are very instructive here. There are set plans depending on who we are playing. These things really helped me out in my performance today."
Fazel also chimed in saying, "We like to keep some surprise element in each match, different tactics. Last year because of Siddharth (Desai), Rohit Baliyan was able to score lot of raid points. But now all teams are planning for him, so sometimes we like to change things around. I'm happy that all our raiders are playing well. It is heartening to see that in one match Arjun (Deshwal) shone, while in another Athul sizzled while in yet another one Abhishek (Singh) excelled."
With the win, U Mumba move up to 4th in the points table with 29 points. Tamil Thalaivas drop to 8th place and are now tied at 25 points with Gujarat Fortune Giants, who won earlier in the evening.