Chennai: The home leg for the Tamil Thalaivas is all set to get underway today, as the home team takes on defending champions Bengaluru Bulls today in Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor stadium, here.
Tamil Thalaivas, who had a disappointing outing last season finishing at the bottom of the table in Zone B.
This year with the inclusion of some of the big names like Rahul Chaudhuri in the team, the team has fairly done well and is languishing at the middle of the table with the home leg set to begin, Tamil Thalaivas coach E Bhaskaran is confident that the team can do well here.
Speaking at a press conference on the eve of their first game in the city this season, Bhaskaran said, “So far, this season has been positive for Tamil Thalaivas and we are riding high on confidence. We are walking in to the home leg with a positive outlook with the sole motive to perform well. We are looking forward to play among our loving fans, and their support is our strength during the home leg.”
Bhaskaran feels that with the players completely fit without any injuries is a blessing for the team this season. “Last season we had many injuries and to not repeat the same mistake we had a good pre-season this The keen interest taken by each player for their fitness and diet is keeping the team’s strength and stamina intact. I am personally working on each player’s fitness levels during practices on the mat and during fitness sessions and the players are also performing with a renewed energy.”
Tamil Thalaivas had a winning start to this season over Telugu Titans where Rahul Chaudhury starred with 12 points against his former team. The team, however, lost its next two matches with a one-point margin, against Dabang Delhi and Patna Pirates before defeating Harayna Steelers and tying its last game with UP Yoddha.
Despite feeling confident Bhaskaran, however, opines that all the 12 teams are well-placed and anyone can get a win on their day. “As a coach, I feel all the 12 teams are equally placed as this season, all the matches are decided in the last minute. Both the matches that we lost this season were very close until the last minute and whichever teams perform best on its day will win.”
Rahul Chaudhari who is playing his first season with the Tamil Thalaivas said that he is looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd. “The fans in Chennai boost our confidence and the team is looking forward to a successful home leg. The defence and raiding departments of the team are fully prepared for the home leg. Our preparations are to give our best and make sure we win this match and the following three matches.”
Last year Tamil Thalaivas played on all the five days of its home leg without rest and this time with only four matches scheduled for seven days, senior raider Shabeer Bappu feels that it will keep them in good stead. “The home advantage will be a big boost for all the teams since we get more rest and get time to recover. We are excited about the home leg, and have always received support from fans in Chennai.’