Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Gujarat Fortunegiants coach explains why he dropped captain Sukesh Hegde
Gujarat Fortunegiants and Haryana Steelers played out a tactical battle in Tuesday’s Pro Kabaddi League encounter. However, it was the Steelers who eventually registered a well-deserved 32-20 victory over an inconsistent Gujarat side.
Gujarat captain, Sukesh Hegde had an utterly disappointing night. The raider couldn’t score a single point against the Steelers and coach Manpreet Singh spoke about why he substituted him early in the match.
“The climate has been weird for the past 2-3 weeks. Even the best players haven’t been feeling well. Plus, we have six more matches at home remaining. I thought I should try and remove Sukesh to see how the team reacts,” he explained.
This is the second time this season that a captain has been substituted from the starting lineup. Previously Meraj Sheykh was also taken off by the Dabang Delhi coach. Manpreet revealed that one shouldn’t look too much into it. His only motive was to keep Sukesh fit and raring to go for the home leg.
Considering the fact that Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls have struggled at home due to the congested fixture list, the coach’s decision holds water.
“Kabaddi is a game where we have to continuously play for three months now. If you don’t take care of your health, you won’t be able to compete. Sukesh has no injury, he just had a little infection,” he said.
Manpreet got philosophical as he attempted to put his team’s performance into perspective. While he accepted that he had prepared a lot for tonight’s game, the coach rued the fact that they weren’t able to replicate their practice performance when it really mattered.
“Wins and losses are part of the game. It’s still a very long league. We had planned a lot of things but it didn’t work out. We kept making mistake after mistake,” he said.
With a poker face, the coach attempted to break down Gujarat’s performance. Fazel and co. were on even footing in the first half. However, their defense was split wide open in the second. As a result, their raiders felt the pressure to consistently deliver without fail.
“Till half time, both teams were equal but the game completely changed. Only Sachin played well today, I congratulate him for that. You can never be satisfied with your team’s performance. Taking into account our solid defense, we didn’t play well at all,” the coach opined.