Pro Kabaddi League 2018: "Coach and captain have told me to go all out," says Bulls hero Pawan Kumar
The Tamil Thalaivas’ home misery continued on Wednesday as they went down to the Bengaluru Bulls, the Bulls winning big 48-37.
Rohit Kumar had a quiet night, but the Bulls still won convincingly thanks to the efforts of Pawan Kumar Sehrawat who broke the game wide open with a couple of Super Raids that completely took the wind out of the Thalaivas’ sails.
After trailing 4-8 in the early minutes of the first half, the home team came within a point at 8-9, but a terrible sequence of events in the next few minutes completely swung the game in favour of the Bulls. Thalaivas captain Ajay Thakur, twice fell victim to a Super Tackle, once to two men and once to three, giving the Bulls a 4-point boost.
Soon after came the moment of the match as Pawan Kumar pulled off a 5-point raid to leave the Thalaivas in ruins. Their defence seemed to have a hold of him, but he somehow wriggled out enough to get his fingers across the midline. That raid left the Thalaivas with just one man and an All-Out soon followed. 9-11 suddenly became 11-23.
Pawan went on to wreak more havoc as two more Super Raids brought a second All Out and the Bulls were well and truly out of sight as they led 32-13.
Pawan finished the night with a huge haul of 20 raid points from his 15 raids.
At the post-match press conference, Bulls coach BC Ramesh had high praise for his raider.
“Pawan was with the Bulls in seasons 1 and 2. Last year he was with Gujarat, but didn't get chances. He was outstanding in the Federation Cup and nationals which is why we have brought him back. And today he showed what he can do," said Ramesh.
Pawan himself said his belief in his abilities helped him do well in the tough situations.
“Rohit bhai has supported me a lot along with our coach. They have told me to be bold and be aggressive and not take any pressure. That's what I'm trying to do,” said Pawan. “I'm looking to make up for the shortcomings from the previous seasons.”
Thalaivas coach Edacherry Bhaskaran referred to those early moments as being key to the game.
“After that 5-point raid, the morale of the players went down completely. The 5-point raid, 4-point raid and then 3-point raid, the team wasn't able to recover from that,” said Bhaskaran.
The Thalaivas dropped veteran raider Jasvir Singh and started with young player Vimal Raj instead. However, coach Bhaskaran said the decision was injury related.
“Jasvir had a hamstring pull after yesterday's game. So we didn't want to risk him. Had he played today, he may have been sidelined much longer,” said the Thalaivas coach.
He also explained why we have not seen Sukesh Hegde until now.
“Sukesh has an ankle problem. He's been advised rest by the doctor. That's why we've not played him so far,” Bhaskaran mentioned.
Thursday is the last day of the Chennai leg and the Thalaivas play the Bengal Warriors in their final home game. The Bulls have a week off before they play the Thalaivas again in Sonipat next Wednesday.