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Upbeat Steelers ready for Tamil Thalaivas

Khokhar Calls For Side To Be Wary Ahead Of Challenge

Ahmedabad: Haryana Steelers Head Coach Ranbir Singh Khokhar expects his side to be aggressive ahead of their clash against Tamil Thalaivas at The Arena, in Ahmedabad, on Wednesday. Coming off the back of their first win, a 32-20 result over Gujarat Fortunegiants in Nagpur a week ago, Khokhar said his side will be fresh and ready for the challenge.

“The last few days have been fruitful. We concentrated on technical training and recovery. We also worked around specific strategies to take on the Tamil Thalaivas players and hope to come back stronger and refreshed. A fresh mind is always a welcome change and I’m looking forward to see a stronger, more aggressive Haryana team,” he said.

The Steelers, who began the tournament with a loss to U Mumba, claimed a draw against Gujarat Fortuneigants followed by a comprehensive win against the same side, a performance that saw Khokhar’s boys claim all four individual awards in Nagpur. Asked about his approach to the next clash, Khokhar said he was wary of the Thalaivas’ tactical strengths and use of reviews.

“They (Tamil Thalivas) fought for each and every point in the previous games which I was quite impressed by. Our team has used reviews very carefully and sensibly. I don't believe that reviews add to pressure, and our focus is on minimizing silly mistakes, which are the cause for reviews more often than not.”

Much like their opposition, the Thalaivas come into the clash after claiming their first win after a South Indian derby against Bengaluru Bulls which saw the K. Baskaran-coached side win 29-24 and Khokhar said the presence of young and quick raiders in the Thalaivas ranks was something to be wary of.

“The Thalaivas have some quick raiders in their squad and we have prepared individual strategies to tackle them and we are confident of being able to execute them. Mohit is one of the strongest corners in the league and so it is very important that he steps up on Wednesday. He was effective against Gujarat, but knowing his potential, he is capable of much more,” Khokhar said.

With the Steelers building up to their home leg which is less than a month away, Khokhar added that every game counted towards building confidence ahead of their trip to Sonepat. “Every team wants to hit the ground running especially at their home venues and we are no different. We would like to win as many games as possible from here on so that our families and all the supporters and players have a lot to look forward to.”

The match between Tamil Thalaivas and Haryana Steelers begins at 8 pm and will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports HD 2, Star Sports First and HotStar.