Pro Kabaddi League 2018: 'Coordination brilliant from start to finish' - Thalaivas coach Bhaskaran after beating Pirates
Playing in front of their home fans in Chennai the Tamil Thalaivas got the sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League started in explosive fashion as they inflicted a 42-26 beating on defending champions Patna Pirates.
Playing with renewed vigour, bolstered by the new faces in the off-season the Thalaivas got off to a fast start and never looked back. They inflicted three All Outs during the match to leave the Pirates helpless and deflated.
Ajay Thakur, the Thalaivas captain, had a Super 10 to his name, with 14 points and was ably supported by Surjeet Singh who had seven points to his name. Naturally, Ajay was very happy post match: "This was the first game of the season and also our first home game, I'm obviously very happy with the result. Our confidence is up because of this win."
He credited the win to having "a balanced squad good in both departments."
Thalaivas coach Bhaskaran Edacherry was also delighted with the result as he exclaimed: "The team coordination from start to finish was terrific."
He also pointed to the work and practice done ahead of the game: "This season the team has got time to practice and plan. We wanted to take the lead and build because we know how dangerous Pardeep can be. They are very good at making comebacks. So we wanted to put pressure on them. Our raiders also kept picking up points regularly to maintain the lead."
Pirates coach Ram Meher Singh looked downcast after the defeat as he exclaimed: "The game doesn't go according to plan sometimes. They got three All Outs, we got only one, that too at the end. They were much better today."
Singh lamented the performance of his defence, with only two of the Pirates' 16 points coming from their defence. "The defence did not get set at all. That was the main reason for this loss. Not just one position, all four positions let us down. Even Jaideep who was one of our main defenders last season was ineffective today. The combination and coordination in defence wasn't there," said Singh.
Superstar Pardeep Narwal despite picking up 11 points was rendered largely ineffective as the Thalaivas seemed to have come in with some very good plans for the Pirates' main man. Led by Manjeet Chhillar and Amit Hooda in a terrific defensive showing, the Thalaivas kept Pardeep quiet. Singh said Pardeep wasn't a one-man army while acknowledging there was room for improvement.
"Pardeep can't do it all alone," said Singh. "When there is no defensive support, the raiders are bound to be nervous. So Pardeep's performance is also dependent on the defence. But yes, even in raiding we weren't as good as we expect to be. We were probably about 20% to 30% below our level."
Tamil Thalaivas play UP Yoddha tomorrow in their second game while the Pirates have one more game in Chennai, also against the Yoddha on Thursday.