Thalaivas coach: 'We are still pumped up to give the best'

Did the Thalaivas miss a trick by inducting many inexperienced players in the auction this year? Baskaran was quick to respond, “No. It was indeed a gamble to take in new and novice players but it hasn’t entirely backfired..."

The ‘home leg’ hasn’t been kind for the Tamil Thalaivas as it lost both its matches.   -  PTI

The fifth season of the Pro-Kabaddi League hasn’t been the best for debutant Tamil Thalaivas, which is languishing at the foot of the points table. The ‘home leg’ hasn’t been kind either with the team losing both its matches.

The near-disastrous campaign, however, hasn’t taken any motivation away from its players. Led by Ajay Thakur and coached by Kasinathan Baskaran, the team is pumped up to give the best on the mat.

Baskaran, who helped Jaipur Pink Panthers triumph in the inaugural season, hopes the lessons learnt can translate to better performances. “We are still pumped up to give the best. Although we know we have a herculean task lying ahead of us (in terms of qualifying for the next stage), we are leaving no stone unturned and are willing to put in the extra yards to get the best out of each one of us. The lessons on discipline, the knowledge and the way to handle pressure have surely put us in a better position than what we were,” the coach said in an interaction with Sportstar.

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Did the Thalaivas miss a trick by inducting many inexperienced players in the auction this year? Baskaran was quick to respond, “No. It was indeed a gamble to take in new and novice players but it hasn’t entirely backfired. We saw how close some of the games were in which we lost by one point. We (the team and the management) are satisfied with how the team has shaped up. We missed the results but that doesn’t mean we are an easy team to beat.”

With the Thalaivas going down in humdingers, Baskaran said it was a learning experience for himself as a coach. “We had numerous situations which could have changed the complexion of a match had we not committed errors. I learnt a lot from those. Plus, I had to keep my team motivated at all times by giving pep talks, talking about family, match scenarios and history of the game etc and it helped me improve as a thinker of the game,” Baskaran explained.

The coach praised Ajay Thakur for leading the team with an impeccable reputation. “This is the first time he is captaining a team in the league and I must say he has excelled in his duty. He is like the head of our family and all the players have an immense respect towards him. He has been always encouraging and the testimony to the fact is how the players lifted Ajay on their shoulders whenever the team won. These kinds of actions show how close-knit we are as a unit,” Baskaran said.

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