TELUGU TITANS HAVE been let down by their fledging defence once again. It's been a story through the last 3 seasons that the most attacking team in the Pro Kabaddi League has been constantly falling short of its sub-par defensive performance, and last night's game against Bengaluru Bulls confirmed it once again.
The match was mostly dominated by the Bulls, who were considerably ahead in terms of points scored for the majority of the game, and even though the Titans tried hard to make a late comeback it fell short, resulting in a 28-30 loss for the home team. A look at the point tracker tells that story.
But it would be wrong to give that late surge too much of an importance here. Because the Bulls had decided by that time that the lead they had gathered was strong enough, and it was time to sit back and pass the time. That's why their raiders clocked in safe, empty raids and their defenders had a tendency to stand back. Of course, the latter failed because the Titans have good raiders on their ranks.
But in the end, it was a particular thing that turned the game in the Bulls' favour. It was that they had a specific raid strategy of attacking on the do-or-die raids and it worked. The Titans defenders, who repeatedly took the bait and launched themselves on the opponent raiders, kept falling short again and again. While the same was not true for Bengaluru defenders. They were able to stand back and pll the Titans raiders into an uncomfortable zone and capitalize. A comparison of the two teams' raid statistics shows that.
So while the Titans' raiders had objectively performed better, the Bulls had a better strategy guiding their raiding performance and their defence successfully backed it up. That's why their hold on the game was tighter, and once they got that lead going they were able to put further pressure on their opponents because their third-raid attacking strategy allowed for two time consuming empty raids to take place beforehand.
It's possible, that had Telugu Titans managed to score some extra points early on, they would have offset this entire strategy and nipped this danger of a slow-choke defeat in the bud.