Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Thalaivas coach calls out Amit Hooda as they slump to another defeat at home
Thalaivas' coach wasn't happy with the performance of his lead defenders
The Tamil Thalaivas finished on the wrong end of a scoreline for the second night in a row in front of their home fans as they fell to the Jaipur Pink Panthers in a low-scoring encounter.
There was just the one All Out in this match; it went to the Pink Panthers and it proved to be the difference in the end as the Zone A side went on win 27-26.
Though the difference, in the end, turned out to be just one point, the Pink Panthers had managed to seal the win with a few minutes to go. The game was extremely close throughout before Jaipur pulled ahead at the end. The two sides were tied at 13-13 with four minutes remaining in the first half which is when the All Out came. That gave them separation and they led the rest of the way.
Thalaivas coach K. Baskaran was clear about the reason behind his side's second successive loss. “The major thing lacking today was Amit Hooda”, said Baskaran, pointing out the struggles of his lead defender.
Hooda has had a wretched start in the Thalaivas’ home leg thus far. On Friday against the Puneri Paltan, he was successful just once in his five tackles. Saturday was another forgettable day at the office for the Thalaivas’ right corner as he went one for six as far as successful tackles went.
“Between C. Arun and Amit Hooda, they gave up many points. Their combination didn't click. The contribution was lacking from them today”, Baskaran went on to say.
Their captain, Ajay Thakur, had a good night with 13 points, but found himself devoid of support and waging a lone battle. K. Prapanjan, the team's second raider, had just one point from his 10 raids and was thus ineffective.
Manjeet Chhillar's presence
When asked about his display, Prapanjan pointed to the presence of Manjeet Chhillar in the Pink Panthers’ ranks as a factor in his barren game.
“We tried to avoid Manjeet Chjillar and play. When there is such a good defender in the opposition, we have to be wary of him. We had a good strategy but were not able to execute it. Their other defenders didn't make many mistakes and we weren't able to take points”, said the lanky raider.
Pink Panthers coach, Balwan Singh, was pleased with the win with his side aiming to make a run at the playoffs with their home leg coming up next week.
“Our routes open because of this win. If we continue this form we will have a chance. We would have lost an opportunity had we not won today”, exclaimed Singh.
“We are in this competition to win and all teams are good. We have to beat everybody if we are to win the tournament. We want to be first; in sports, that's what it's all about”, a confident-sounding Singh had to say.
Captain Manjeet Chhillar had an excellent game, marshalling his troops well and registering 4 tackle points from his 5 tackle attempts. He didn't do much raiding, saying that he “didn't need to.”
“As a captain and defender it's important I stay on the mat. When Tushar and Pawan are doing so well, there is no need for me to take u any additional raiding duties”, said Manjeet, showering praise on his two young raiders.
Sunday is the final day of this Inter-Zone Challenge Week and it pits the Thalaivas against U Mumba as they go looking for their first win. Prapanjan spoke about what it would take from his side to get the win - “Raiders and defenders, we should avoid mistakes from today. Also, our raiders, we should not wait for points, we must go and get them.
“We have the capacity to overcome deficits. We should have guts. We should not be lazy”, signed off the Thalaivas’ raider, looking forward to the clash against his former side on Sunday night.