Bengaluru, Dec 14: Sourav Kothari was sure that Pankaj Advani will bounce back after being beaten by Kothari in the semi-final of World billiards championship long-up format.
And that happened on last Monday, December 12, in Bangalore. Advani became world billiards champion, defeating Peter Gilchrist in the 150-up format. [Advani wins IBSF World Billiards Championship]
Sourav who has been accompanying Pankaj in the Indian team for last 15 years watched the final from a very close distance.
Kothari, the runners-up in the world championship long-up format, said after returning home in Kolkata on Tuesday: “I do not feel this was Pankaj’s special win. He had won the world champions in both time and point format. I feel it was very difficult and that could be the special victory for Pankaj.”
But Sourav is amazed to have watched Pankaj’s mental strength. He said: “It was delighted to watch that Pankaj in spite of losing to me in the semifinal of the first world championship, bounced back and won the second one.
"Actually, Pankaj can control his mind brilliantly His elder brother has a crucial role in developing his mental strength.
"When Pankaj trails in a game he continues hitting, just to keep the scoreboard active. It becomes extremely tough for any player.”
According to Kothari, Pankaj has a rare quality. He can talk to himself even during a game. He further stated: “Mike Russel is called one of the best players in the world billiards. But Pankaj has defeated him several times.
"The reason is that Pankaj, whenever trailing in a game, starts murmuring and during that phase he knows nobody.
"I get scared he might not recognise even his elder brother during that phase. And talking to himself, Pankaj increases concentration and draws the picture that how he would defeat his opposition."