New Delhi : The Haryana Steelers are all set to begin their Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) campaign as they will clash with Patna Pirates on Thursday. The Pro Kabaddi, which is returning after two years, will be held in a secure bio-bubble at the Sheraton Grand in Bengaluru.The Haryana Steelers head coach, Rakesh Kumar, on Monday said that the players have been practicing regularly and will look to play fearlessly in their first match this season.”Yes, Pro Kabaddi is taking place after two years, but it doesn’t mean that the players have not been practicing. The players have been carrying out practice sessions regularly in their hometowns. I always tell my players to be fearless and not think about the result. We are playing our first match against a good team – Patna Pirates. They have also made a good combination. However, we won’t be nervous and will play with full energy and enthusiasm. It’s important for us to win the first match as the team will gain confidence and momentum from the victory,” he said during a virtual press conference.
Asked about the reasons behind the appointment of raider Vikash Kandola as captain of the Haryana Steelers, Rakesh said, “Vikash has been with us for the last three years and he has played well in every season. And every time he steps on the mat, he gives his hundred per cent and plays for the team. Therefore, we decided to appoint Vikash as the captain. He should know the responsibilities of being the leader of the team as well. But I am sure that there will be no extra burden on him and he will perform just like he has been doing in Pro Kabaddi.”Meanwhile, Vikash said that he will not feel any added pressure after becoming the captain of the side.”It’s great to become Captain as I have been with this team for three years. The management and the Head Coach are really good. The Coach has asked me not to take any added pressure and play with a free mind.”I will not change my approach to the game after becoming Captain. I will play the way I played before. However, I have the responsibility of taking the team forward. We have worked on the mistakes we made last season in our pre-season camp. We will make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again,” he said.
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