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Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: Bengaluru Bulls new captain Rohit Kumar a kabaddi great in the making

Rohit Kumar has shown qualities of an excellent captain in a short span towards the end of Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4 league stage.

Rohit Kumar Bengaluru Bulls
Pro Kabaddi 4 was bittersweet for Rohit Kumar

The thing about team sports is that irrespective of the quality of a particular individual, eventual results depend on how the group performs as a whole. This logic applies to kabaddi as much as any other sport and a look back at Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4 league stage verifies it better than anything. Bengaluru Bulls new captain Rohit Kumar was one of the best raiders of the tournament and despite him scoring 93 raid points from 14 games, his team finished sixth on the points table.

Bengaluru Bulls’ position on the league table is probably an anti-thesis of what Rohit Kumar has done this season. The Services player, who was with Patna Pirates last season, carried raiding responsibilities on his shoulders and did a marvellous job of it. What makes him a true hero, however, is the fact that he was least bit bothered about indiviudal performances and rather dejected about his team not making it to the semi-finals.

Speaking to Sportskeeda after his team’s final league game against Puneri Paltan, which resulted in yet another loss for Bengaluru Bulls, Kumar said, “I do not know how I can say I played well when my team lost and could not reach the semi-finals, which is more important than anything else. I would rather score 6 or 7 points in every match and have my team win as opposed to being the best raider in the league.”

These words were quite mature from a 26-year-old, who had just produced another season of magic in a league filled with kabaddi stars. These were the kind of words that a true leader would say after being thoroughly dejected by his team’s loss. Rohit, sitting alongside Mohit Chillar after the match, looked like a figure of disappointment and rightly so, given the fate his team had suffered.  

Most Valuable Player in season 3, Rohit Kumar was drafted into the Bengaluru Bulls side alongside the likes of Mohit Chillar and Surender Nada. This trio was expected to take Bengaluru Bulls to that elusive crown and Rohit was billed to recreate the magic from the last season. Well, almost everything mentioned in the previous sentence happened, almost. Mohit Chillar carried on from where he had left last season and showed why he will become one of the best defenders in India’s kabaddi history.

Rohit Kumar was stellar in raiding and wreaked havoc on defenders throughout the tournament, mostly under pressure situations. However, he was not able to transform his own success into points for the team, which is what mattered in the end. Match after match, Rohit was entrusted with the responsibility of fetching points and he delivered. Poor performances from Surender Nada and other defenders along with lack of support for Rohit proved to be Bengaluru’s undoing in the end.

However, Bengaluru Bulls should not be totally disappointed and there have been a couple of positives from season 4, the biggest being Rohit Kumar’s performances and his leadership. Taking over the reigns of a side from a senior player late in the season can never be easy but Kumar seems to have taken to the role like fish takes water. In the four matches with Rohit as captain, Bengaluru Bulls won two including the victory that derailed U Mumba’s surge towards their fourth consecutive semi-final.

The fourth season was baptism by fire for a lot of teams due to new squads coming into play and knowing the right combination was a big challenge. Though Bengaluru Bulls were not able to make it to the semi-finals, they have found a new leader in Rohit Kumar, who will be an inspiration next season and could well take them to Pro Kabaddi title. The news is better for Indian kabaddi, which looks to be in great shape with talents like Rohit, Mohit, Pardeep Narwal and Sandeep Dhull coming through.

Rohit Kumar, on the other hand, is on his way to becoming a kabaddi great and should the Indian team ever lack any sort of leadership or inspiration, they would not need to go far and call on the Akshay Kumar fan who is in the Indian Navy.

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