Pro Kabaddi Season 4: Playing attacking game helped upset Jaipur, says Bengal Warriors coach Pratap Shetty
Kolkata seems to have a Midas touch for its home team Bengal Warriors at the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. Last season, they had won three out of their four games at the City of Joy which was instrumental in propelling them up to their eventual fourth position in the league.
Season 4 had not been kind to the Bengal team prior to their home leg. They had won just one out of their eight matches and languished right at the bottom of the table. Not many would have predicted them to outclass the erstwhile table toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers, who has been one of the sides to watch this season.
But that is exactly what they did at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Inflicting a 32-25 defeat on the 2014 champions, they made the crowd go delirious with joy. Riding on their South Korean talisman Jang Kun Lee’s fabulous raiding that brought 12 points, the team looked solid and put in an inspired performance that had so far been largely lacking.
Naturally, that brought out the smiles from coach Pratap Shetty. He stressed that Jang Kun Lee was exceptional but it was not possible for him to deliver the show-stealing display unless he got full support from his teammates. And that all-round effort was essential for such a big win.
On being asked what exactly was the change in strategy that led to this turnaround, the Warriors head pointed out it was their decision to go on an all-out attacking mode that paid rich dividends.
“Many times this season, we have lost after having initially built up a lead. This time, we had decided to play a full attacking game right from the start.”
Shetty elaborated that their raiding department had been slightly dull owing to injuries to key players in the initial part of Season 4. Even Lee had not been fit and that got reflected in the team’s results up till now.
But now with his players having recovered fully and especially Lee having come back to form, the Warriors mentor can breathe a sigh of relief.
We can still make it through to the semi-finals: Warriors coach
No wonder such a win goes miles in boosting the morale of any team. The beaming Shetty exuded confidence in his boys and even harbours hopes of making it through to the last-four, no matter how uphill the task looks now.
The victory did not change Bengal Warriors’ position on the table and they are still at the bottom. But with five more matches in hand and a renewed team spirit, they certainly can dream big.
“There are still many matches to go. If we can win all our remaining matches, we can surely reach the semi-finals.
“Kolkata is a lucky ground for us. Even last season, we won thrice at home and this season we are targeting to win all four of our home matches,” he hoped.
The Bengal Warriors will be looking to continue their love affair with Kolkata when they host the defending champions Patna Pirates tonight at 21:00 hours IST.