Kolkata Thunderbolts’ Vinit Kumar is confident to take on the Bengaluru Torpedoes in the first semifinal of the second edition of the Prime Volleyball League on Friday.
Vinit, an opposite spiker, is eager to advance and is optimistic about his team’s chances to enter its consecutive final. “We plan strategies according to the team we are up against next in accordance with our coaches and support staff,” he tells Sportstar.
After the defending champions won the third set against Ahmedabad Defenders, several of its senior players were subbed out to finish the match.
“We had already won the match 3-0, so we wanted to test our bench strength. Since the semifinal is today, we can’t afford to put extra load on the main players,” says Vinit.
Vinit, 32, was the top performer in Kolkata’s last league match with 10 attack points out of 12.
With his team having defeated the Torpedoes 3-2 in the first match of the league, the spiker from Thunderbolts is positive to dominate them in the semis.
Vinit was unperturbed by Torpedoes head coach David Lee, who took notes as the Thunderbolts played against the Defenders.
When asked Lee as to what notes he wrote from the match, he replies, “I do it every match. In every rotation that they do, I take down who they set in that rotation and what direction they attack the ball. It’s for me to understand what they do in specific rotations.”
While he does take pointers to grasp the other teams’ play, Lee also feels that no number of notes can change the fact that the Torpedoes need to perform under pressure, and tonight is no exception. “There are some rotations where we understood what their team is trying to do, but in the end, it comes down to how we perform. If we can serve and pass the ball better than they can, we should win this match.”
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Having lost to Kolkata once, Lee aims for a bounce back with a changed Bengaluru side after deeming the team to be unprepared in its first match.
His concern is the two Thunderbolts’ veterans, Vinit and its captain Ashwal Rai. “A lot of the offences run through these two players, so we have a plan as far as how to stop them, but they are good, experienced and very athletic, so it’s not going to be an easy task.”
Both teams will look forward to performing their best, with Kolkata having the upper hand as far as head-to-head and numbers are concerned.