PKL 2019 | How Tamil Thalaivas lost their fourth consecutive home game

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PKL 2019 | How Tamil Thalaivas lost their fourth consecutive home game

Tamil Thalaivas ended their home leg on a poor note as they suffered their consecutive fourth defeat in the sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League and this time it was to Bengal Warriors. Playing their first game, Bengal defeated the home side 36-27 to kick off their sixth season on a great note.

Ajay Thakur staying off the mat for more than 10 minutes

The Tamil Thalaivas skipper started off on a good note and looked in control of the proceedings in the first half. But somewhere down the line, Bengal Warriors came up with a plan to restrict the opposition captain and it was perfectly executed. Bengal ensured that they keep the star raider off the mat for more than 10 minutes and that showed on the scoreline in the end. Thakur went off the mat for the first time when Mahesh Goud effected a hand touch with around 10 minutes to go in the first half. Although he was revived after that, Thakur got tackled in a do or die raid with more than six minutes remaining. Jang Kun Lee dived at him for an ankle hold and Ran Singh came in from the left corner to support him. Thakur, who usually prefers running hand touch to secure raiding points, was not allowed to do that in yesterday’s game which really worked well for Bengal. In most of the raids, he was drawn deep into the Bengal half and they didn’t allow him to run away with the running hand touches. Thakur was tackled again by Ran Singh from the left corner when he was trying for a bonus and Singh got the ankle hold right and with good support from others, Thakur was brought down. Shrikant Tewthia initiated a chain combination tackle along with Jang Kun Lee to block Thakur with nine minutes to go in the second half after the entire Tamil Thalaivas team came back after the second all out. With two minutes to go, Ajay’s momentum took him into the lobby when he didn’t touch the defender and went off the mat again. Thakur managed to score only six touch points in a total of 14 raids in the match.

Tamil Thalaivas failing to inflict an all-out when Bengal was down to only one man 

Tamil Thalaivas were in the driver’s seat with nine minutes to go in the first half as they had a lead of three points and the Bengal side had only one man on the mat. They sent in Mahesh Goud for the raid where most teams are happy to get a bonus despite getting all out. However, the raider got an important touch on Ajay Thakur and a bonus that saw the visitors getting a revival. On the following raid, Jasvir forced Mahesh to step out of bounds which gave the hosts another chance to inflict an all out. In such scenarios, most teams allow the raider to commit himself rather than go after him and the Thalaivas did the exact opposite of that. Bengal brought in Rakesh Narwal for Surjeet and that resulted in a sudden change in fortunes for the Warriors with Rakesh picking up as many as three points in that Super Raid and they survived the scare of getting all out. Two experienced men Manjeet Chhillar and Jasvir Singh and their wildcard raider Athul went off the mat in the same raid where they tried to block the raider and dash him out but Rakesh’s presence of mind helped him get his leg past the centre line. They got a new lease of life from that moment of the game and Bengal was a rejuvenated side from then on. 

The proper understanding between the Bengal defenders 

Surjeet Singh, Shrikant Tewthia, and Ran Singh combined really well among themselves to strengthen the Bengal defence. From Ajay Thakur’s tackle to Vimal Raj’s, they were fantastic together and the top level of understanding between the three of them was one of the major talking points from the last game. Thakur, who usually prefers running hand touch to secure raiding points, was not allowed to do that in yesterday’s game which really worked well for Bengal. The Bengal defence blocked Thakur on four occasions and kept him off the mat for more than 10 minutes. Ran was not going that deep in the left corner and Surjeet made a good combination with Jang Kun Lee on the right. In Vimal’s raid, Surjeet was in the right corner and when the raider was trying to jump over him in that do or die raid, he grabbed his legs and support came in from the left in the form of Ran. This was one small example of their combination and understanding which was on display in most parts of the game in Chennai yesterday. 

Defensive lapses continue for Tamil Thalaivas

Since their loss against UP Yoddha this season, defence has been a major cause of concern for the Tamil Thalaivas. They collected only eight tackle points in their previous game against Bengal and the defensive lapses were visible again. They made a tactical change by making Manjeet play in the centre instead of playing him at his regular position of left corner but that didn’t work for the Thalaivas. Amit Hooda’s poor run continued as well as he stepped out off the mat in the right corner position in a do or die raid when there was a super tackle opportunity. The same happened with Manjeet Chhillar as well at the left corner position before the end of the first half which worked in favour of the Warriors. Someone having an experience as a corner defender for so long can’t commit such mistakes at crucial junctures of the game and it was for the umpteenth time that happened in this season. Darshan J added insult to injury by going for a solo tackle against the Bengal raiders on two consecutive occasions and got out. PKL is a long tournament and with plenty of time remaining, E Bhaskaran and the Thalaivas think tank will try to solve their defensive woes as soon as possible to be successful in the competition. 

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