Pro Kabaddi: Telugu Titans' coach Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri says coach's role is limited in Kabaddi
Never say die, was the mantra of Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri’s Telugu Titans side on Saturday as they snatched a win from under the noses of the Jaipur Pink Panthers in Pune, a place where Mr. Ramesh Bhendegiri earned his Ph.D. in Kabaddi from.
Severely depleted, and in a way reduced to bare bones, Dr. Ramesh Bhendegiri managed to mastermind a Telugu Titans win.
Speaking to Sportskeeda after the game, the veteran manager, however, refused to take the plaudits for the win, claiming his influence on the happenings on the pitch is fairly limited.
“I must say, in Pro-Kabaddi, a lot depends on the captain or the senior player who is on the pitch. Unlike amateur Kabaddi, a coach can’t directly coach or instruct a team in Pro Kabaddi. I think these are some very good additions to the game that Star have made,” Dr. Bhendiri opined.
The Telugu Titans Coach was critical of his skipper Dharmaraj Cheralathan, claiming that the forty-two-year-old made too many errors while failing to control the game.
“I feel Dharmaraj Cheralathan had an off day. He made too many mistakes today. Since my influence on the game is less, it is up to him to take charge of the situation. Unfortunately, he isn’t quite doing that at the moment,” Bhendigiri suggested.
Prashanth Rai’s entry was the turning point: Dr. Bhendigiri
The former Indian Women’s team Coach hailed the fighting spirit of Meraj Sheykh who scored eleven points in the game but also pointed out the re-entry of Prashanth Rai as the turning point of the game.
“Meraj was excellent and easily the best player in the game. But I felt it was Prashanth’s entry into the game in the dying minutes that changed the game.
“I knew there was a mistake in the Jaipur Pink Panthers’ defence and Prashanth Rai exposed that to good effect in the end to tilt the game in our favour,” analysed the Telugu Titans Coach.
On being further questioned about the role of a coach in the side in Pro Kabaddi, Bhendigiri testified his opinions with a few things in the game.
“Even though I can’t instruct the players on the court, I have to think of multiple threats and opportunities for my team. For instance, Manoj Kumar wasn’t fit enough to play for us today, but I felt his presence in the defence would make the opponents raider wary.
“He wasn’t doing much and let go a few bonus points, but I felt his presence in our team affected the Pink Panthers’ raiders,” Bhendigiri revealed to Sportskeeda.
“Prashanth was struggling in the first ten minutes as his body wasn’t moving very freely, so I kept him by my side and continuously told him where he could get points from. In the end, that proved to be fruitful as he bagged a bonus plus touch point,” added the ex-Thailand National Team Coach.
The insightful Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri admitted that his side started out cautiously in the absence of Rahul Chaudhari and Sukhesh Hegde but was delighted he found match winners in Meraj Sheykh and Prashanth Rai at crucial junctures in the game.