Pro Kabaddi: How Patna Pirates took a leaf of the Pink Panthers’ book to knock them out
Patna Pirates edged Jaipur Pink Panthers for the semi-final spot
The Patna Pirates held on for a vital victory in the penultimate game of the Pro Kabaddi League stage against the Jaipur Pink Panthers which saw them progress to the semi-finals in Mumbai. From the very first minute, the Pirates seemed to be working according to a plan which they never lost track off till the final whistle.
After grabbing an early lead, the Patna Pirates tactfully defended that lead throughout the game without taking any risks in their raids. It was a strategy which worked wonders for them as it frustrated the Pink Panthers, but it was a strategy which came straight out of the Jaipur Pink Panthers’ book revealed the Patna Pirates manager, Kartik Sansanwal.
“I gave an example to my boys of Jaipur Pink Panthers itself. I remember how the Pink Panthers defended a 5-point lead against Bengaluru Bulls in Bengaluru when Jasveer Singh went through almost twenty empty raids throughout the match”, said the Patna Pirates coach cum manager.
Kartik Sansanwal asked his side to recreate that feat and they did it perfectly according to him. “I asked them before the game that if Jaipur Pink Panthers can do that, so can you and they responded brilliantly in the game.”
The Patna Pirates allowed the Pink Panthers to have plenty of bonus points, but felt the need to have five defenders on the pitch which would help them cancel the bonuses out. “We gave a few bonuses away but we felt if we had five defenders on the pitch and waited for their third (do-or-die) raid, we would be able to cancel the bonuses out and maintain the gap. The defence performed really well on the day and we executed our strategy perfectly,” said Kartik.
The Pirates come up against a top defensive unit in U Mumba who also have some of the best raiders in the league. So work is cut out for the Pirates and they will have to raise their game to the next level if they are to get past U Mumba on their own patch.