Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: U Mumba captain Anup Kumar delighted with the performance of Rakesh Kumar
The fourth season of Pro Kabaddi started off with a cracking couple of fixtures and both Maharashtrian teams drew first blood by securing wins in close and topsy-turvy encounters. While Puneri Paltan, led by the destructive Manjeet Chhillar, inflicted deep pain on Telugu Titans by defeating them 28-24, U Mumba maintained their composure to beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 36-34. U Mumba captain Anup Kumar was delighted to see his side get over the line and take home five points.
Also read: Pro Kabaddi 2016, Season 4 Results & Highlights: U Mumba vs Jaipur Pink Panthers Full Match Report, News & Updates
Speaking to Sportskeeda, Anup Kumar explained how the win against Jaipur Pink Panthers was not easy to come by and it was the performances of Rakesh Kumar and Rishank Devadiga, who stepped when U Mumba really needed them. “I am really happy with this win and glad that we managed to get over the line. Jaipur did really well to snatch the momentum away from us but luckily, we struck back when we needed it the most,” he said.
Lauding the perfomances of Rakesh, who was the best defender and best raider, and Rishank, Kumar said, “Rakesh and Rishank played quite well. It’s good that our opening game was tough. You always get to learn from these tight games. We’ll want to improve on both our raiding and defending. We made some mistakes while defending but even more while raiding.”
U Mumba started off really well and raced to a 3-0 lead through an excellent offensive beginning. However, Jaipur, who had former Mumba star Shabeer Bapu in their line-up, clawed back in the game to make life diffcult for the home side. U Mumba went into half time with a 20-12 lead but Jaipur put up a remarkable second half performance to race to a 26-23 lead over the home side.
However, this was where Rakesh Kumar raised his hand and stood up to be counted, delivering in both defense and offense to hand back his side the initiative. Rishank Devadiga consolidated and Kumar followed it up with a couple of brilliant moves to seal the first win of the season for U Mumba, who showed that they can win even without playing their best.
The reshuffling of squads has given a lot of hope to all sides and Jaipur Pink Panthers, if not for some ordinary errors, could well have gone home with all five points. Anup Kumar also spoke about how the new squad’s chemistry has been terrific in practice but things change drastically during the match. “During practice our chemistry has been good. But match day is different. I think we played well. We didn’t play that bad. Our team looks pretty set. The start is always difficult,” he concluded.
U Mumba take on Puneri Paltan in the third game of the season and it should be a cracker, given the fact that both teams will be looking to make it two wins in as many games. There will be added drama in this match as it is the Maharashtra derby.