With one eye on playoffs, Haryana Steelers gear up for table-toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers

January 16, 2024
With seven wins in 12 games this season so far, Haryana Steelers are sitting among the top five in the points table.

Jaipur, Jan 16 (IANS) With seven wins in 12 games this season so far, Haryana Steelers are sitting among the top five in the points table. They will be looking to avenge their previous loss to table toppers Jaipur Pink Panthers, when the two teams lock horns on Wednesday at SMS Indoor stadium.

The last time the two teams faced off against each other, Jaipur had picked a 45-34 win over Haryana.

The Steelers will look to end Jaipur’s five-match winning streak, when they step out to the mat. The Pink Panthers have won 9 out of their 13 games so far, with only two losses to their name. The Jaipur crowd has shown up in large numbers to the stadium over the past few days in a strong show of support to their home team, but Haryana Steelers Head Coach Manpreet Singh says his side cannot let the pressure of the moment affect them.

“Our aim is to win all our remaining matches and qualify for the playoffs. But in this sport, plans can go haywire on the mat. What matters is that we always give our 100 percent, no matter what. We cannot control the outcome. But we can reduce our mistakes, we can be smart in our decision-making, we can be tactical with our reviews, and we can control our player changes. If we do that correctly, we are confident we can get a good result,” he said.

Manpreet further explained why Jaipur Pink Panthers Captain Sunil Kumar could be the biggest threat for his side on Wednesday.

“In Kabaddi, what matters most is how well you are able to study your opponent. Rajasthan’s captain Sunil is the most intelligent captain in the sport at the moment, in my opinion. He has great resources but he also knows how to use them well. He knows when to make quick raids, when to slow things down and when to hold a match. When he gets out, Jaipur tends to struggle, so we know we have to target him if we want to win the match,” he said.

Meanwhile, Haryana Steelers Captain Jaideep Dahiya stressed that his side will work on reducing the errors in raids to continue their rise in the points table. He further added that a strong defensive performance will be key for Haryana in the upcoming match.

“Defence is key for us. We can make a lot of super tackles. It is something that we practice a lot in training. Also, we will try to reduce the number of errors we make in raids, so that we can achieve our targets,” he said.

Speaking on the opposition, Jaideep said: “Jaipur Pink Panthers are quite a good team. Sunil and Arjun Deshwal are performing really well. We defeated Puneri Paltan in Pune and picked a win over Bengaluru Bulls in Bengaluru. So, we will take motivation from the same and will try to perform our best to get a good result, despite Jaipur having the home ground advantage.”

–IANS

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