Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Pardeep Narwal speaks about special tactics he employed in the final
Chants of 'Pardeep, Pardeep' reverberated around the stadium in Chennai as Narwal led his side to an epic victory.
Patna Pirates were crowned champions of Pro Kabaddi season 5. The men in green thumped rivals, Gujarat Fortunegiants, 55-38, in what was an extremely tactical and intriguing final.
Usual suspect Pardeep Narwal was under tremendous pressure heading into this encounter. He had managed to score just 9 points in his previous two outings against Gujarat. However, Narwal put the demons behind him and produced a splendid performance, scoring a massive 19 raid points on the night.
He started off slowly and it was his right-hand man, Monu Goyat, who opened the floodgates. Monu managed to take out Iranian, Abozar, twice within the space of a few minutes. This relieved some pressure off Pardeep who then began playing with much more self-assurance.
The best raider in the world then single-handedly put Gujarat to the sword with two monster 5-point raids. The capacity crowd in Chennai went absolutely bonkers. Chants of 'Pardeep Pardeep' reverberated around the arena. Rarely have we witnessed one man's name echoing around a kabaddi stadium. It was a sight to behold, reminiscent of the 'Sachin Sachin' chants in almost every cricket stadium in the country.
Asked about his massive fan following, Narwal replied as he normally does, crisp and to the point, saying, "Their defenders were the same but I just changed my game a bit. I feel very happy when the fans chant my name in the stadium," he said.
Narwal displayed tactical acumen by changing his approach against Gujarat's Iranian defenders. Pardeep, who usually begins raiding from the left-hand side of the mat, chose to alter his movements which took the opponents by surprise.
"The coach asked me to raid like I normally do but he specifically asked me to raid from the middle of the mat and I tried it for a couple of times and it worked," he admitted.
Patna coach, Ram Mehar Singh, who went on an epic rant at the post-match press conference, revealed what he told his star player before the game, specifically with regard to combating the Iranian duo of Fazel and Abozar.
"They knew Pardeep has this habit of raiding from the corner, he used to play the same way. I told him whether you win or lose, you must not play like before. I asked him to leave a space of one metre and then begin attacking and he succeeded in that," he said.