The Kohli-Kumble rift has taken the cricketing world by storm but it is not the first time that such an incident has taken place where a team management has taken a decision in captain’s favour. Jose Mourinho (2005), Claudio Ranieri (2016) and now Kumble (2017) are a few names who have been sacked with the captain having the final say. However, it is not the same for Indian kabaddi national team coach — Balwan Singh.
The decorated kabaddi coach – Balwan – explained, “Both the captain and the coach hold their positions and work together for the betterment of the team. Just like any other player, a coach is also responsible for team’s success and failure.”
After leading Jaipur Pink Panthers to Pro Kabaddi League title in the inaugural season and final of season 4, 2005 Dronacharya Awardee is all set to take ‘new panga’ (new challenges) in the upcoming season of the Kabaddi League. “With a mix of experienced and young talent in the team, Jaipur Pink Panthers are all set to put up a great show in the upcoming edition. With Manjeet Chhillar, Jasvir Singh and Selvamani K in the team, we have an advantage over other teams,” he said.
With four new teams drafted — UP Yodha, Tamil Thalaivas, Haryana Steelers, Gujarat Fortunegiants— and the duration extended to 13 weeks, Panthers coach believes it will be a fitness booster for the players and will improve their game level. “I hear people saying that players will be prone to injuries but what I feel is that it will enhance their fitness and take their game to another level. Right support and motivation will also make them physically stronger,” he added.
When asked about what went wrong in last year’s final against Patna Pirates in the final, he said “It wasn’t our day then. We had defeated them in both the league games. But on that day they got better of us and took the game away from us. We were very close to the title and not winning it then will help us come stronger this year.”
On team owner’s role, Arjuna Award winner revealed that there has been full involvement by Abhishek Bachchan. “He has been involved in each and every decision in the welfare of the team. The best part is he is always open for new challenges and never give up quality. It is good to have a positive mind like his especially when you have youngsters in your squad,” Balwan said.
Speaking of the team’s strategy this season, he said, “The team will take one game at a time and will look for improvement in every game. Results do matter but a learning environment has to be maintained. Kisi bhi team se zayada, khud ki soch sahi rakhna ek challenge hota (More than any team, keeping your thoughts right is a challenge in itself.”
PKL season will be bigger than any other tournament of its kind in the country, with 12 teams from 11 states contesting over 130 matches.