As the auction for season 10 approaches, Tamil Thalaivas have retained 10 out of their players. We look at 3 major changes Ashan Kumar made to help Thalaivas reach a historic semi-final against the odds.
Ajinkya Pawar started the first 3 matches but was off colour and was dropped after that, with the likes of Himanshu Singh, all-rounder Vishwanth and Himanshu being preferred
over him. Ashan Kumar came in and immediately restored Ajinkya in the starting 7 and Ajinkya instantly proved that Uday Kumar’s decision to drop him was misguided. Ajinkya since Ashan Kumar’s arrival scored 124 raid points in 17 matches at an average of above 7 and strike rate of 45.13. The speedy raider produced magical moments especially against Telugu Titans and played a huge role in Tamil Thalaivas’s historic run to the semi-finals.
Brought Himanshu in place of Vishwant
Uday Kumar surprisingly ignored all-rounder Himanshu for the majority of his tenure, despite the Haryana lad having the potential to contribute both offensively as well defensively. Uday Kumar preferred Vishwant ahead of him, however, Ashan Kumar recognized Himanshu’s all-round potential and drafted him in the starting 7 as an all-rounder. The 23-year-old didn’t disappoint, emerging as the top defender with 4 tackle points in Thalaivas surprise win over the Pink Panthers. Himanshu ended the season with 32 raid and 28 tackle points, the only player in PKL 9 to score more than 25 raid and 25 tackle points highlighting Uday Kumar’s misjudgement. Himanshu will especially be remembered for his vice like ankle holds from the in position.
Improved the defence
Under Uday Kumar Tamil Thalaivas struggled defensively, in the first 6 matches Thalaivas averaged 9.67 tackle points per match, while their tackle strike rate was just 36.97. After Ashan Kumar arrived Thalaivas average tackle points increased to 11.83 tackle points per match, while their strike rate also increased to 44. Normally coaches need around 2 months pre season to organize the defence, for Ashan Kumar to improve the defence immediately was indeed special.