Pro Kabaddi: U Mumba may rest top players in final group games
U Mumba returned to the top of the Pro Kabaddi league table after a commanding win over Bengal Warriors. First season’s runners-up U Mumba lost their first match of the season against defending champion Jaipur Pink Panthers last week at Hyderabad.
The team is just three points ahead of Telugu Titans, in second place, having amassed 45 points in 10 matches. They have to play 4 more matches in the tournament, whereas the Titans have just 3 matches left. The Mumbai coach E. Bhaskaran expressed confidence at maintaining their spot at the top for the rest of the tournament.
“Our first priority right now is to retain the first position. We are very confident about retaining the first position throughout the tournament. We will get a ‘weaker’ team in the semi-final if we finish on top. We may get a tough opponent if will finish at some other spot in the league table,” expressed the coach.
U Mumba have secured a semi-final spot, where they will play hosts once again. The coach feels it is an advantage for the team to play the semis in front of their fans. And his belief is not unfounded, as in 2 seasons, U Mumba has lost only 1 match at home – the final against Jaipur Pink Panthers.
“Playing the semi-final and final in Mumbai is a big advantage for us. The Mumbai crowd supported us very well during our home leg. We will play with full aggression in our home ground as we played here before,” he said.
He also predicted the other 3 teams for the semi-finals. According to him, Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls will reach the semis, but admitted the fourth spot is still open.
“According to me, Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bull will be in the semi-finals. There is still a fight for the fourth spot – mainly between two teams – Jaipur Pink Panthers and Patna Pirates. Dabang Delhi can surprise everyone in their pending home matches,” the U Mumba coach shared his wisdom.
He mentioned that playing the foreigners could prove to be a risky strategy as they were not part of the squad for their month-long training camp.
“Playing with foreign players can be risky for us because our foreign players arrived just 2-3 days before the start of the tournament. We always wanted to give chance to new players, but most of our matches were really close, so it was not possible for us to give them a chance,” he added. “Our first priority is to secure top spot in points table later on we will give chances to new players to see their performance. We will try to play with all new players.”