CHENNAI: How important is defence in Kabaddi? One should ask Patna Pirates, who had a bad start to the Pro Kabaddi League due to a defensive collapse in the opener against Tamil Thalaivas on Sunday. In front of the pumped-up home crowd, Thalaivas drubbed the defending champions 42-26. Throughout the match, Thalaivas skipper Ajay Thakur kept stealing points from Pirates, scoring the most number of raid points (14) in the match.
Initially, Pirates were unorganised and there was no proper co-ordination between the defenders. They made only two successful tackles while Thalaivas put up a stupendous show with 11 successful catch points. “There were issues in coordination and defence which was our strength till last year. We have to work a lot on coordination,” said coach Ram Meher Singh, who is also the Indian men’s team coach. Out of seven attempted tackles, Pirates defender Vikas Kale was successful only once while Jaideep could grab only one point out of six tackles.
When asked about his plans to overcome defensive issues, Singh said, “There is a good three-days time left for the next match. I am sure I will address this issue and do a bit of video analysis with the whole team. But I believe we have a very balanced team but we will be the best only if we work on a couple of things which we failed to execute properly today.”
Last year’s best performer of the tournament, Pardeep Narwal, did his job well in the raiding department securing 11 points. But he could only help his team so much. “We didn’t have proper time to practice. But I assure you we won’t make the mistakes which we made today. We understood where we are lagging behind now and this will surely be taken care of,” said Narwal who is the Pirates captain.
Results: Tamil Thalaivas 42 Patna Pirates 26; U Mumba 32 UP Yoddhas 32.