Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Patna Pirates coach hits back at Gujarat for overconfidence
The Patna coach does not believe that Gujarat are the favourites for the title.
Saturday's first Pro Kabaddi 2017 Season 5 encounter at Pune was supposed to be a habitual outing for the Patna Pirates. Having already secured a playoff berth, Pardeep and Co. headed into their match against the Tamil Thalaivas as the out and out favourites.
However, what transpired in the initial moments and later on, shocked everyone as much as it pleased them. The sight of watching a top team crumble at the hands of the supposedly weak delighted the fans in Pune.
Patna were handed their seventh defeat in as many as twenty-one matches. The Thalaivas emerged 40-37 winners on a night when Patna's defenders struggled for momentum. Post the game, the Pirates coach, Ram Mehar Singh spoke about an opponent that they could possibly face in the coming week.
On current form, Gujarat have been billed as the favourites to win Season 5. However, Singh does not concur. He refused to accept that the Fortunegiants are leading the race for the trophy.
"Gujarat have played well and we lost both our matches to them but it was close. Their main plus is their defence. They have Fazel and Abozar. It is not right to say that Gujarat are the favourites. Tamil Thalaivas and Haryana have beaten them, so Haryana are in the race too and so are the Bengal Warriors," he said.
Asked about what went wrong against the Thalaivas, Singh cited pressure as one of the reasons. He suggested that the Thalaivas had nothing to lose and as a result, they went about expressing themselves without any baggage.
"Patna played badly. Thalaivas are out of the league so they were mentally free while playing. The situation favoured them. At the start, the defenders did not play up to their level and the raiders were disappointing too," he explained.
Once again, Vishal Mane was in the spotlight. Upon being asked about his poor form in his presence, the coach did not hesitate to criticize him.
Monu Goyat, who too was seated next to Vishal, could not help but sneak in a cheeky smile at Vishal who had his head down during the entire episode. It felt like a school teacher reprimanding a student in front of his classmates.
"I have been thinking about their poor form as well. The most senior players in the side, the players who have played all five seasons have been making mistakes which have cost us dear. Of course I am concerned about this. I hope that they bring their A game to the playoffs," he signed off.