Could U Mumba get complacent in the knockout stages of Pro Kabaddi?
Judging by how vociferously U Mumba fans chant Anup Kumar and the rest of the players’ names, one can safely assume that the supporters are pretty satisfied with their side’s performance this season. Coach Bhaskaran Edachery has catapulted his side into a privileged position on the table.
The writing may not be on the wall. But U Mumba’s head coach, Bhaskaran could have a genuine problem that he may have to deal with. Things look far from problematic for the team from the city of seven islands. Having won ten of their eleven matches, U Mumba enjoys a handsome five-point lead at the top with a game in hand.
This Mumbai team has important qualities like reliability, experience and the ability to churn out results. But, with the semi-finals on the horizon, Anup and company will have to deal with teams who will be even hungrier to knock them off their perch.
U Mumba’s dominance at home and on the road could be a double-edged sword. When a side wins week in week out, complacency is bound to kick in. The knockout stages are a different ball game altogether. Form and consistency go out of the window. The team that wants it most, more often than not ends up winning.
The likes of Jaipur Pink Panthers and Bengaluru Bulls have managed to pick themselves and have put in improved performances since the past few games. Sonu Narwal has peaked at the perfect time for the Pink Panthers and has proved to be an able right hand to star raider Jasvir Singh. The Titans have surprisingly maintained their consistency this season and wouldn’t be a bad bet for winning the title.
Afterall, they do have the biggest point’s difference in the league which stems from their stellar attack. Time will tell whether the table toppers suffer from complacency this time around. Some motivated and talented sides await them in the knock-out stages.