Interview with Kasinathan Baskaran: “All the teams in the Pro Kabaddi League are the same this season”

Aditya Sharma
Kasinathan Baskaran

Kasinathan Baskaran (C) with team owner Abhishek Bachchan (L) and Aishwarya Rai

Kasinathan Baskaran, the man behind the Star Pro Kabaddi Season 1 success of Jaipur Pink Panthers. He is the coach of Pink Panthers and himself a former Asian gold medallist in kabaddi. He is working really hard to lead his team to repeat the last year performance and win the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 2 title. He is the former captain of Indian kabaddi team.

During an interview with us he openly told us about the preparations of the team and their strategy this season.

Here are the excerpts:

Q. Jaipur Pink Panther is the defending champion this time. Do you or your team feel any pressure of retaining the title?

No, we don’t have any pressure. We are already experienced, so this time there is no question of feeling pressure.

Q. Have you made any changes in the preparations of your team? In regards to coaching and training?

According to the training, we do it according to the age of the player. There are two training stages – Junior and Senior. Some players are senior for them I do coaching according to age in senior training stage and junior players according to junior training stage.

Q. Are you looking to try some new skills in the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 2?

Definitely, every morning we focus on the fitness of the players. In evening session we teach according to the player different skills according to the situation and opposition. What to do when there are 7 players, 6 players, 5 players, 2 players and so on. I especially teach them how to take points from opposite side and how to tackle the raider from the opposite side.

Q. What kind of support are you getting from the team owner, actor Abhishek Bachchan?

He has given full authority and opportunity of handling the team to me. He often calls the manager to ask about training camp, about player’s welfare, how they are doing in camp etc. He is very supportive.

Q. You also have some new players in the team. Do you find any difficulties in managing them and can you tell us more about the new players?

Jaipur Pink Panthers

Coach Kasinathan Baskaran (in pink) overseeing a training session ahead of the second season

No, there are no difficulties in managing them. I know all the new players also. We have Sonu Narwal from Haryana. He is Asian Gold medallist and working in Haryana police as DSP. Another one is Dharmendra from Rajasthan, he is junior player. Kuldeep Singh from Haryana, he is working in railways.

Q. More foreign players are playing this season. Can you tell us how they are getting used to playing in India?

We have four foreign players in the team. Currently we have Sanjay from Nepal here with us. Other three players 1 from Iran, 1 from Korea and 1 from Japan will join us directly in Mumbai. They are facing some visa issues. 

Q. Most of the players are from Hindi-speaking states. Don’t you find any difficulties in communicating with them?

No, I don’t face any difficulties in managing the players. I am also a former Asian gold medallist. I am not facing any difficulties in communicating with players. We have two junior players from Tamil Nadu. One is C. Arun and other one is C. Karnan.

Q. If you need to send one raider from your team for some tie breaker kind of situation. Who will be your first choice?

In the present situation I will send either Sonu Narwal or Jasvir Singh.

Q. How you motivate the players just before the match and during the timeouts between the match?

That time, I just motivate the players by saying that “We can do”. I told them that we can take their points and tackle their raider. I do observe the weak points of opposite players. I never concentrate on their strength points. I concentrate on our raider’s strong points and tackles strong point, but for opposition, I only focus on their weakness. I told them all those things during half time, time outs that this is the weak place you can take point from. 

Q. What is your strategy for the opening match against U Mumba? Do you also focus in in-match analysis?

Yes, we do focus on that. Anup (Kumar) is the best raider of U Mumba. Last time I made a strategy to tackle him in the first raid, but that strategy was failed. Next time, I changed the strategy and that become successful. We also keep changing our strategy time to time and team to team.

Q. Who do you think is the most difficult team to take on this season?

All the teams are equal this time; you never know which team will win.

Originally published on here