Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Puneri Paltan captain Deepak Hooda explains why his side is superior to U Mumba
Playing at home against the backdrop of a packed house at the NSCI stadium in Worli, U Mumba looked intent on rewarding their fans with a solid performance. They started extremely well and looked far more dangerous than Puneri Paltan.
Ultimately, quality and composure shone through as Pune mounted a laborious comeback to win the match 26-24. Post the game, Puneri captain, Deepak Hooda was full of praise for his team's performance and explained why Pune have been superior to U Mumba in season 5.
"It's about keeping calm in pressure situations and taking the lead. It's about focusing on a single point. It's obvious, we performed better than Mumbai in the pressure situations. They were leading by a good margin but we kept chipping in with bonus points. Scoring bonus points is crucial when you're trailing and the coach has always asked us to focus on it," the captain explained.
Deepak was specifically happy with the fact that they managed to come from behind and beat U Mumba on their home ground. Since season 1, Anup and co. have been ruthless at home and have rarely looked vulnerable, irrespective of the opponent. Up against a stellar Pune outfit, their lack of depth ultimately proved to be their undoing.
"I have said this before as well, there are no easy matches in the Pro Kabaddi League. U Mumba have always been a side that plays well on their home turf. We always expected a tough game but we were prepared for any kind of situation. We were trailing in the previous match as well but could not cover it," he stated.
U Mumba have largely enjoyed success over their Maharashtra rivals since the inception of the league. They've managed to win 7 out of 8 matches against Puneri Paltan. However this time around, it's Pune who look far more menacing. Paltan coach, BC Ramesh believes that having quality all-rounders in the team has catapulted Pune to the next level.
"We have 4 quality defenders and raiders as well. Deepak and Sandeep Nawral defend as well as attack, that's why we're doing better this time. It was important to recover at half time. We improved on our bonus points, we knew when to take them. Deepak displayed tremendous patience and successfully executed his ankle holds."
Pune now have a mini break of 10 days before they take on Telugu Titans on 7th September in Kolkata.