Ahead of Saturday's Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season 6 final against Gujarat Fortunegiants in Mumbai, a confident Bengaluru Bulls coach BC Ramesh on Friday warned his team against complacency while heaping praise on the opposition. This will be Bengaluru's second attempt to win the title after they finished runner-up to U Mumbai in the second season in 2015.
This will also be the second final for Gujarat, who lost to Patna Pirates to end as runners-up in their debut season in 2017.
Ramesh minced no words in revealing his side's strategy ahead of the big clash where he said the focus will be on stopping Gujarat's star raider Sachin, who has emerged as a force to reckon with this season.
"Gujarat are a great side and that shows from their consistency. Getting to two consecutive finals is commendable. Even though we drew our first match and won the second against them in this season, we will have to be careful," Ramesh told IANS.
"Their raiders and defenders have gelled well to overpower the strong sides. I look forward to an exciting contest on Saturday."
Asked who will be his side's main target in the final, Ramesh admitted that Gujarat's star raider Sachin will be the key to his team's success.
"While the focus will be on the entire side as it is a team game, stopping Sachin from getting those crucial points will be our priority," he said.
Commenting on his team's strengths, Ramesh backed skipper Rohit Kumar to once again lead from the front in the big game.
"For us, Rohit and Pawan (Sehrawat) have been brilliant throughout and our defence line comprising Mahender Singh, Amit Sheoran, Ashish Kumar and Sandeep have contributed well to get the team to the final," he said.
"Hopefully we can repeat our performance in the first qualifier and beat all odds to get the title. The whole of Bengaluru is proud of the boys. It is time to pay back the love and respect," he added.
Asked about possible weak links, Ramesh said the team was working on improving their speed on the mat.
Recounting the positives from the season, Ramesh picked young defender Amit Sheroan, raider Harish Naik and all-rounder Mahesh Magdum as the ones for the future.
"Amit finally got a chance after warming the benches for three seasons and he showed his potential and class. Harish has the build and height to add to his raiding skills while our all-rounder Magdum will surely get better as a top raider in the coming years."
(Tridib Baparnash can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)