Fresh from their win over the Telugu Titans earlier this week, Haryana Steelers bounced back from a string of defeats, and the JSW Sports-owned franchise is determined to begin the new leg, set to get underway in Pune, with a win over home team Puneri Paltan, at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, in Balewadi.
In the ten matches in which these sides have faced each other over the years, the Steelers have won four, while Pune have won six. Haryana defender Mohit Nandal said past results count for little, as his side gear up for the second phase of the competition.
“Every team in this League is different from the other and even the players change every season. Hence, previous records do not play a role at all. The team that performs better on the night will win the match and we are focused on going out there and doing our best,” Mohit said ahead of the encounter of the Pro Kabaddi season nine.
Mohit, who is a right cover in the Steelers roster, has had a stellar campaign so far, with his pairing alongside Jaideep bringing the Steelers away from some tricky situations. The addition of Iranian defender Amirhossein Bastami has further given a major boost to Steelers’ defensive unit in PKL 9.
“Jaideep and I train together and we often continue to discuss our strategies in our free time as well. Even during matches, we clearly communicate between ourselves which proves helpful to the team. I’m happy about this partnership, and I hope we can contribute to the team going ahead,” Mohit said.
“Amirhossein is strong and quick and he has been working really hard in the training as well. He listens well to the instructions and the plans that Coach Manpreet Singh discusses with us. We feel blessed to have him in our defensive unit,” he added.
Up against Haryana on Friday is the Paltan’s in-form raider Aslam Inamdar who has already notched up 68 points in just seven games so far this season. Inamdar is currently placed fifth in the list of top-scoring raiders. Ahead of the encounter, Mohit gave a brief glimpse of how Steelers would be planning to tackle the threat posed by the Maharashtrian raider.
“Aslam is a good player, but we have strong defenders in our team. We have already spoken a lot about our strategy in keeping him at bay during our training sessions before this game. We feel we are prepared to counter him and hope that as a unit we can do our best to reduce his influence on the game,” Mohit said.