Pro Kabaddi League 2018: Dabang Delhi coach takes aim at critics after team fights back to force tie
Day 3 of Pro Kabaddi season six delivered the second tie of the season as the contest between the Gujarat Fortune Giants and Dabang Delhi ended 32-32, the exact same score as a few days ago when Puneri Paltan and U Mumba played out a tie.
The Fortunegiants, last year's runners-up, took the lead early with the first All Out. The Dabangs though didn't allow the lead to build and in the last five minutes of the game got an All Out of their own which helped them draw level.
Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh and his players looked dejected at having to share the points, but speaking after the match Singh said: “It was a good match. Delhi are a good team. Their team is much better compared to last season. I feel all the teams in Zone A are equal this time.”
The Fortunegiants are without their two world-class Iranian corners - Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani - who've moved teams and in their place the Gujarat team started with two players who had previously played only one match in C Kalai Arasan and Ruturaj Koravi.
Singh felt they played well in the first half, but faltered in the second half, citing their inexperience. “We played well in the first half, but our raiders made mistakes in the second. Probably we went too deep. Also, our corners rushed their tackles, they lost patience”, said the Gujarat coach.
“But it's a long league, they will gain experience as the league goes on”, added Singh.
Chandran Ranjith, who was a key raider for the Fortunegiants last time around, is now with Dabang Delhi and he led the way for his new team with 9 points.
Talking about his performance, Ranjith said: “There was some familiarity having played for them last year. So that helped. Also, our coach told us to target the corners.”
Delhi coach Krishan Kumar Hooda was bullish after the game exclaiming: “We have come to play. The result is secondary, but this year we have come to give a tough fight to all teams and you saw that today.”
He also took aim at some of the criticism directed at the side ahead of the season: “Before the season started, people told me our raiding looks weak while our defence is strong. Today we showed how good our raiders are”, said Kumar referring to the performances of Ranjith and Pawan Kumar.
On the last raid though with the scores tied there appeared to be some confusion as Ranjith was held back while Pawan was directed to go in.
“We didn't want to lose after the fightback. We wanted to not get caught. So we went safe with Pawan”, explained the Delhi coach.
Both the Dabangs and Fortunegiants play next on Friday against the Puneri Paltan and Haryana Steelers respectively.