Puneri Paltan captain Girish Ernak hopes his team’s raiders raise their bar during the Visakhapatnam-leg of the Pro Kabaddi League, set to begin on Saturday. The team needs to win the last three matches to be in contention for the knockout round.
Paltan takes on Patna Pirates on Friday, before playing Jaipur Pink Panthers and Telugu Titans later.
“Frankly, we have had serious issues in raiding when they were up against a four-man defence from which the raiders are not able to wriggle out,” he told Sportstar . “It is not that we are not working our way out to counter this major issue. The coach and all the players are determined to give off their best to live up to the expectations of the fans and the franchise owners,” he said.
“We are hoping for the return of our key player [Nitin] Tomar for the last round of matches after an injury break. That should boost our chances a lot,” he said.
“I don’t think there will be pressure be sure of the must-win situation we are in. On the contrary, it should actually spur the players to give off their best,” says the captain of the team which won seven out of the 19 it played so far.
Talking about the upcoming contest, he said, “[On Friday], we have to keep off Patna’s star raider Pardeep Narwal to be in with a chance.” He added: “The atmosphere in Vizag is exciting, and that should also be encouraging for the players.”
Reflecting on the season, Girish felt it had been a long and demanding one, with a lot of players forced to be extra cautious on the fitness front for fear of injuries.