Three-time champions Patna Pirates are going through their worst Pro Kabaddi league as they are placed at the bottom of team standings. Patna Pirates now need to win all their nine remaining matches to make their case for PKL playoffs.
Despite Pardeep Narwal having performed to full potential, the team has struggled to cross the line this season. Though Pardeep averaged 11.8 raid points in the last six matches, Patna Pirates haven’t won a single game. It seems the main reason behind Patna’s poor show is the lack of support raiders, who can revive Pardeep. Also, they are missing the experienced second raider in Jang Kun Lee, who hasn’t featured in the last four matches.
Check Pro Kabaddi points table and schedule here
Patna Pirates bought Jang Kun Lee in PKL auction 2019 but he failed to give the much needed-support to star raider Pardeep Narwal, who recently become the first raider in Pro Kabaddi League to cross 900 raid points. Pardeep also holds the record of maximum (51) SUPER 10s.
In a telephonic interview with Business Standard, Patna Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal dwells on the reason for Patna Pirates' poor show and his speed on the kabaddi mat, which many experts have questioned. Edited excerpts:
1) Patna Pirates have struggled this season. What do you have to say as the team's captain?
Yes, our team hasn't been performing well this season. At this point of time, I can’t say if the reason for our poor show is the offence or the defence, since nearly half the tournament is yet to be played. In the remaining matches, we will make a comeback and give stiff competition to other teams.
2) What's the importance of a support raider in a team?
It is important to have a good support raider, like Monu Goyat, who was in our team in season five. He initiated quick revival, which helped us become champions.
3) Many experts say you've lost the speed on the mat. What are you doing about it?
No, that is not correct. I'm still playing the way I used to in my early days. The team isn't playing well, that’s why people are questioning my skills and speed. My fans always support me and I don’t care about critics. I only focus on my game. I'm working on some more tactical skills.
4) How do you keep yourself fit during the off-season?
During off-season, I practice in our village and keep an eye on my fitness and diet.
5) What has coach Ram Mehar Singh's role been in the dugout during matches?
Our coach works on players' weaknesses. During practice, he makes specific strategies and tells us whether we should attack, corner or cover defenders.
Video: When Pardeep Narwal's crossed 900 raid points