Telugu Yoddhas, the GMR Group owned franchisee representing the Telugu speaking region of India, began their Ultimate Kho Kho campaign in style drubbing the team from their neighboring state, Chennai Quick Guns 38-48 to win their opening game. Telugu Yoddhas played the second match on the opening day of the Inaugural season of the Ultimate Kho Kho at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Pune being coached by former national coach, Sumit Bhatia. Telugu Yoddhas displayed a balanced game in the offensive and defensive ends showcasing their agility and acrobatic skills that helped them earn some big points in the opening minutes of the game. Telugu Yoddhas Vice-Captain, Prateek Waikar won the Ultimate Kho of the Match award while Deepak Madhav and Arun Gunki were awarded with the Best Defender of the Match and Best Attacker of the Match respectively.
Chennai after winning the toss decided to defend. Telugu Yoddhas drew first blood with a sky dive, one of the four highest earning touch points which later was followed by a pole dive, another highest earning touch points. In a game of ‘4 Turns’ (2 from each innings), Yoddhas attackers displayed their brilliance in Turn 1 of the game by earning a total of 25 points, that included 18 points from 4 pole dives and 2 sky dives.
Avdhut Patil successfully completed his first ‘Dream Run’ by running past all the attackers which helped him earn 2 crucial points (the only points defenders can earn) for his side. Chennai attackers seemed helpless as they failed to touch Deepak Madhav, whose run of 1 minute and 58 seconds dodging the attackers, stole the show and helped him earn another crucial 2 points from the second Dream Run of the match. At the end of Turn 2 and Inning 1, Yoddhas were in complete domination with the scoreboard reading 29-15 to their favour.
Turn 3 saw Telugu Yoddhas once again attacking their opponents but through a complete different strategy, depending majorly on the running touches this time to eliminate the Chennai defenders. Unlike the Turn 1, Yoddhas didn’t go for 3 pointers (Pole Dive and Sky Dive) and most of their points came from Running Touches. A solitary Sky Dive in the final moments of Turn 3 helped the Yoddhas earn 21 points from the turn and widen the gap with the scoreboard reading 48-17 to their favor.
The final Turn 4, of the match brought some hopes for Chennai Quick Guns who played in an attacking manner, but the score difference was too high for them to overtake. Even after earning 21 points through attack in the final turn of the game, Chennai Quck Guns fell short of time and had to face a 10 points defeat 38-48 against Telugu Yoddhas.
After winning the first match of the first ever Ultimate Kho-Kho League, Sumit Bhatia, Head Coach, Telugu Yoddhas, said, “I am very happy with the results. We played as per plans and it was outstanding to see the team put the plans to action. We put a good mix of seniors and youngsters on the mat and that worked well for us. The players were a little nervous in the start but they caught on with the game and showed what they are made of. I would also like to thank the Kho Kho federation and Ultimate Kho Kho for making Kho Kho so glamourous and I am confident that this is going to make Kho Kho places.”
Telugu Yoddhas now play Rajasthan Warriors on 16th August. All the matches are being broadcast LIVE & Exclusive on the Sony Sports Network & Live streamed on the Sony LIV platform 7 PM onwards.