Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: Rohit Kumar's individual brilliance proving not enough for Bengaluru Bulls
To be Rohit Kumar these days is akin to being Sachin Tendulkar in the mid-1990s. No, the comparison is not in terms of the popularity enjoyed by the two players. Instead, what is similar in both the cases is the frustration of being the sole performing member in a team of talented individuals.
Before the second half of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi resumed, the Bulls must have pinned hopes to revive their campaign with some wins on home turf. But the script has gone completely wrong for the Randhir Singh coached team, and as the Bengaluru leg comes to a close, the home team is staring down the barrel.
And they have no one to blame but themselves for it. The only player who can be absolved from the charge of under-performing is the raider Rohit Kumar. The ex-Patna Pirate has shown no decline in performance despite switching colors, but what has blunted Kumar’s threat is his teammates failing around him. Kumar sits at the top of the leaderboard of most successful raids and most raid points.
He is just behind Pardeep Narwal and Rahul Chaudhari on the successful raids per match table with a decent return of 5.4 raids. And despite that, his team sits on the 6th position and is on the verge of missing out on a top 4 spot tells how badly the man with 183 raid points in just 22 games has been let down by his teammates.
In the absence of another quality raider in the team, the burden on Kumar’s shoulder is huge. And he must be given due credit for delivering on most of the occasions.
But it didn’t take too long for the oppositions to find out that taking Rohit off the court wins them half of the match against the Bulls side, as there is hardly any raider with even half of Rohit’s ability to back him up. And hence, there is no way teams are ready to let the 26-year-old go back with easy raid points these days.
Kumar has come in for special attention by the opposition defences.
Every team that has found success this season has found it on the back of quality backups. Rajesh Mondal showed what he is capable of against the Bulls despite the Bulls managing to bring down the high-flying Pardeep Narwal down to earth.
For Jaipur Pink Panthers, there is always Rajesh Narwal and Ajay Kumar to take care of the raiding department in case Jasvir Singh has an off day in the office. U Mumba has trained Suresu Kumar to take up that backup raider’s role and fill in the void created by Shabeer Bapu’s move to Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Even Telugu Titans’ recent success has revolved around the partnership of Rahul Chaudhari and Nilesh Salunkhe. Bangalore’s reserves look unimpressive on that account. And as a result, Rohit has been found helplessly watching his team hurtle to defeat after defeat sitting from the sidelines.
With just four matches to go for them, and a semi-final berth going farther and farther away from their reach, someone has to raise his hand and support Rohit Kumar. Else, the Bulls’ story will resemble that of Indian cricket team’s of 1990’s with batsmen falling around Sachin Tendulkar like nine pins and the little master scoring a ton in a losing cause.