Pune (Maharashtra)[India], August 18 (ANI): Mumbai Khiladis' Vice-Captain Gajanan Maruti Shengal, who has made vital contributions to the team in the Ultimate Kho Kho so far, will look to continue the same run of form and help his team bounce back to winning ways in the tournament.
The 24-year-old from Thane has registered a total of 24 points (18 dive points and six touch points) in three matches so far. He said Mumbai Khiladis and Ultimate Kho Kho are providing an important platform to all the Kho Kho players in India.
"My mother has not seen me play on such a big platform before. During the first match, the moment I entered the arena from the tunnel I saw my mother and the way she smiled at me, I realised how big this is for me and my mother. This very moment is very crucial for me and my family. I wish my father was with us and he could see me play on the biggest Kho Kho platform," said Mumbai Khiladis' Vice-Captain.
Mumbai Khiladis have thus far registered a win and two losses in three matches. They went down 44-69 against Gujarat Giants, bounced back with a 51-43 win against Rajasthan Warriors in their second before losing again to Gujarat (48-66) in their previous match.
Reflecting on the team's performance, Gajanan said, "We are slowly getting familiar with the format. We are improvising combinations and calculations as per the situations. There is learning in each game and we have been working on our strengths and weakness to perform better."
"The first time we entered the mat, we were a little nervous. We didn't have the experience of playing in front of the camera but now we are getting used to it. This is an important platform for us and we have to make sure we give our 100 per cent," he added.
Speaking about his personal performance Gajanan said, "I wait for the right opportunity to do a pole dive, but in the game against Rajasthan I tried my first pole dive, and I scored three points during the same and then I got confident to try more. I was surprised to know that I've scored 18 more points through pole dives in the tournament so far. I am happy and I am getting better at it with each match."
Speaking about the next match against Chennai Quick Guns, Gajanan said that the team will look to focus on executing their plans.
"Both the teams are almost in a similar situation, they have also lost two of their matches, so they will also give their best to bag three crucial points. It will be a challenging game for us, but we are ready for it. Our focus will be on executing our plans and giving our best," he concluded.
Mumbai Khiladis will take on Chennai Quick Guns in their fourth match on Friday at 08:45 pm IST. (ANI)