by Suman Gupta
Coach Khokhar hails ‘special’ win as Haryana prepare to fortify their raiding arsenal
Lucknow: Haryana Steelers Coach Ranbir Singh Khokhar said his side were buoyant following a ‘special win’ in their previous clash against UP Yoddha, ahead of the encounter against Dabang Delhi KC at the Babu Banarasi Indoor Stadium, in Lucknow, on Wednesday. The result saw the Steelers claw their way back from six points down to win 36-29 against the home side.
“The boys have been very motivated, because it was a special win (against Yoddha) and a huge confidence boost. We celebrated that night but the very next morning we were back in training. The boys know that we need to win back-to-back matches now, and we have been training harder to be consistent,” Khokhar said.
He added that his side would do well not to judge Delhi based on their current position (bottom of Zone A), as he believes the format of the League allows teams to bounce back from poor performances.
“We cannot judge any performance as yet since each team has a long way to go. At this point, each team is playing for a win. For us each opponent is strong and thus we plan accordingly. As far as Dabang Delhi is concerned, we cannot count them out – their Iranian players are very strong and they have the ability to turn games on its head every now and then,” he added.
Asked about being a defence-heavy outfit, Khokhar maintained that the Steelers are looking to be a more balanced unit with each passing game.
“Our defence is stronger than our offence, but that doesn’t mean our offence is not good. Most of the teams are playing with two or three good raiders and we are also doing the same. Wazir has led the attack well and Ashish and Kandola have been revelations. We are getting better, and with each passing game, it’s been a marked improvement,” he said.
The Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri-coached Delhi side comes into Wednesday’s game on the back of its first win in five games, a close finish against Tamil Thalaivas. Khokhar also added that his side will have to be focused if they are to walk away with a result. “Focus and discipline are key words here. Focus because we know we need to win and in order to win we need to fight for each point. Discipline, because you can never focus if you are not disciplined. Our players always put the team ahead of themselves, which is what helps us to perform when it matters the most.”
The match begins at 8 pm and will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports HD 2, Star Sports First and Hotstar.
Images: Haryana Steelers during practice in Lucknow preparing for their clash against Dabang Delhi Kabaddi Club on August 23 at the Babu Banarasi Indoor Stadium, in Lucknow