THE SAWAI MANSINGH Stadium in Jaipur could be the venue where Ranbir Singh Khokhar’s Haryana Steelers book a spot in the 'Super-playoffs' of the Pro Kabaddi League, with a clash against home side Jaipur Pink Panthers, their penultimate in the League stage of the competition, on Wednesday.
On a four-game unbeaten streak, the Steelers will look to stay unbeaten against the Panthers, who have endured five defeats in their last seven games. Khokhar said,
“We haven't qualified yet and need one or more points to make it to the playoffs. If Jaipur win all their games and we fail to get to 70, then they go through and we need to be aware of this. We need just a point but that's not our aim. The team is in good shape - both physically and mentally - and want to win both these remaining games."
He praised the efforts of his raiders Deepak Dahiya and Wazir Singh who, according to Khokhar, have raised their performance levels at a crucial point in the League. Khokhar said,
“Our team is clicking at the right time. Deepak and Wazir have played well in these past few games. Against the Titans, Wazir used his experience to understand the weakness of the opposition and attack those zones to score his 14 points. His brilliance won us that game. Vikash is an exceptional raider, but the others, like Surjeet, Prashanth and even Ashish have given their 100 percent whenever called upon to help the team."
Khokhar’s boys will be wary of the threat posed by the Jaipur side, who claimed a draw in the final clash of the Steelers’ home leg in Sonepat, overcoming a six-point deficit with ten minutes left to play. He added,
“We played two games against them, winning one and drawing the other. We were in a winning position at home against the likes of Manjeet and Jasvir, and we managed to do that without Mohit and Surender. We want to be in the playoffs just as bad as them and we know a draw against them will suffice, but we want the win. They have a good team and we're not taking them lightly, especially since they have the home advantage.”
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