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Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Dabang Delhi defender Nilesh Shinde says Meraj Sheykh worked hard to silence doubters

389   //    12 Aug 2017, 23:11 IST

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Sheykh struggled in previous games but put up a vastly improved show against Gujarat

Gujarat Fortunegiants won their second home match on the trot against Dabang Delhi on Saturday. In doing so, they became the first side in Pro Kabaddi League 2017 to win back to back matches at home.

Delhi produced a valiant effort however they eventually crumbled in the final stages of the match. Sachin was a live wire for Gujarat, scoring an impressive eight raid points. The youngster inflicted massive damage on Delhi's defense and was largely responsible for his side's victory.

Delhi defender, Nilesh Shinde admitted that they had made some specific plans for Sachin, however, they couldn't execute them successfully.

"We knew Sachin always plays in an advanced position so we tried to hold our position. We succeeded initially but in the end, we made too many mistakes against him," he explained. 

Delhi captain, Meraj Sheykh was completely out of sorts last week, failing to score a single raid point in both the previous matches.

Against Gujarat, the Iranian started off slowly but grew into the game, scoring an important seven raid points. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't aided ably by his defenders and fellow raiders. Nilesh revealed that Meraj worked extremely hard to silence the doubters.

"We had a break to practice for 4-5 days, our coach worked with Meraj a lot and focused on how he was getting tackled and found solutions to it. He taught him well. Meraj performed really well and his practice showed today," he said.

Shinde refused to accept that his side are one of the weaker teams in the league. He believes Dabang Delhi have enough quality to compete with the very best teams in the league. However, he rued the fact that the players have failed to keep their calm under pressure.

"We are not a weak team. It's about the situation and timing of our tackles. That's the reason we are behind at this stage, if we had got our tackles right, we would have won the match," he stated. 

Nilesh was disappointed with youngster, Rohit Baliyan's, performance. Baliyan displayed promise every time he stepped up to raid in his previous matches. But against Gujarat, the raider managed to score just one raid point. He found it extremely hard to outfox Fazel at the right corner.

"We made some errors on the third raid, Rohit Baliyan especially was shut out easily. Our timing was off. We made mistakes both in offence as well as defence," he signed off.

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