Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: U Mumba expose Telugu Titans' fragility under pressure
Telugu Titans have managed to stay undefeated for their seventh straight game after their humdinger of a contest against U Mumba which ended in a 25-25 tie. In a match that swung like a pendulum across two halves, it was only fitting that no team came out on top. However, credit must go to U Mumba for they pulled back things twice in the match. After lagging behind in the first half, the Mumbai franchise stormed to a lead and when the half time whistle was sounded they led by a whopping 11 point. However, Telugu Titans on the back of Rahul Chaudhuri’s individual brilliance turned the tables completely to be in with a 4 point lead in the 36th match of Pro Kabaddi season 4.
But Titans could get only 4 points in the final 4 minutes while U Mumba racked up 8 points to mount a comeback that no one had seen coming to tie the match. Those 4 minutes, however, exposed Telugu Titans’ fragility that they will need to take care of if they want to lay their hands on the title. The team looked clueless in front of Anup Kumar’s strategies and gave up the lead. With two matches still to go before the playoffs begin, Telugu Titans have some time at hand to fix the rot. U Mumba would be happy despite not finishing on the winning side as they cling on to a top 4 position in the table and have three matches still to go.
U Mumba skipper Anup Kumar later said in the Press conference "The match was in our hands. But we made some mistakes in the final five raids. I am happy with the tie. Three games still left and our team played well. If we had lost then it would have been a problem”
The skipper got philosophical about the team’s rough run in the 4th season, although they still are managing to hold on to a top-four spot. He said, “You always learn the most from the matches you lose. Whenever we've lost a match, we've learnt from it.”
He refused to take any name when asked about his favourite players on the mat in the league. The 32-year-old said, “There are many good players in the league but I am not scared of anyone on the mat.”
The skipper was effusive in praise of the young Sureshu Kumar, who has shone with Rishank Devadiga struggling for form. "He is playing well. His footwork is good and his leg movements are quick. He's played his third match on the trot. He's played well and sometimes gets tackles. But his overall performance has been good," said Kumar.
U Mumba have three relatively easy games up next against teams that are lying in the bottom half of the table. Although the team has struggled when compared to their performances in the previous seasons, they still are a force to reckon with in the tournament.