Pro Kabaddi Season 4: Patna Pirates' Rajesh Mondal took the game away from us: Bengaluru Bulls' Rohit Kumar
Bengaluru Bulls suffered their fifth consecutive loss, and their third at home this season after they went down 23-38 to reigning champions Patna Pirates. The Bulls were playing their third match at home and looking to turn the tide after succumbing to 4 back to back losses. The Pirates were also in a spot of bother as after a sensational start that saw them win 5 matches in a row, lost 2 matches at home.
At the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, however, it was the reigning champions who stopped their rut and inflicted further misery on the Season 2 finalists. With this loss, Randhir Singh’s team stay on the 6th spot in the table, trailing 4th-placed U Mumba by 6 points, despite playing 2 matches more than them.
After the disappointing loss to Patna, which was their biggest defeat this season, star raider Rohit Kumar braved the media to discuss where the team fell short and answered a few questions about his own form.
“Yes, the result was extremely disappointing. We started well and were accumulating points. But, somewhere in the middle, we lost the plot,” said the 26-year-old when asked how demoralising this loss could be. “We are unable to pinpoint any area where we are falling short and that hurts.”
A minor injury to Pirates’ star raider Pardeep Narwal saw Rajesh Mondal don the mantle of the team’s first-choice raider midway through the match. The former Bengaluru Bulls player scored 9 points, with 8 of them coming in raids. Rohit acknowledged that it was the 30-year-old that was the difference in the match.
“Rajesh Mondal took the game away from us today, as he did in the return fixture. We couldn’t tackle him this time either and that’s the reason for our loss,” admitted the Bulls vice-captain.
We knew about Patna’s strengths & weaknesses, but were still unable to stop them: Rohit
When asked if the team had concentrated more on Pardeep Narwal ahead of the match and not the other raiders, Rohit defiantly said that they had plans for each of their raiders bar Surjeet Narwal, but the strategy didn’t work out.
The former Patna Pirates stalwart revealed, “We had devised a plan not only for Pardeep Narwal, but also for Rajesh. We didn’t expect Surjeet Narwal to play and his inclusion was a surprise, so that threw us off a bit.”
In his debut season, Rohit Kumar helped Patna Pirates to the title while bagging the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award of Season 3 in the process. This time around, he was facing his former teammates and he revealed that he had warned his teammates about the qualities the Pirates’ raiding department possesses.
“I have played for Patna Pirates before and I knew a bit about their team. Their defence has changed completely, but I knew their raiding department from my time there,” the Season 3 MVP continued. “I told my team about Rajesh’s and Pardeep’s strengths and we planned accordingly. Surjeet is from the Navy, just like me, and so we knew a bit about him too. However, our planning went to waste and we couldn’t stop them.”
“I am giving my best”
Before signing off, the player admitted his form isn’t up to the mark, but he claimed that he is giving it his all and hoped for a turnaround in fortunes sooner, rather than later.
“I am giving my best, but it wasn’t enough today as I was tackled plenty of times. I aim to improve my form and help my team more,” he said before posing for pictures and joining up with his teammates.
The remaining 4 matches for Bengaluru Bulls this season have now become must wins for the team. They have a golden opportunity to stop the rut as they host lowly Dabang Delhi in their final home match tonight at 9:00 pm IST.