Rishank Devadiga explains how U Mumba ended Patna Pirates' unbeaten run
U Mumba's Rishank Devadiga opens up in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda
U Mumba’s Rishank Devadiga has been in sublime form this season. He is currently among the top 5 raiders in the league. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing always for the 22-year-old. Individually speaking, he had an average season last time around compared to the standards set by himself. He spoke to Sportskeeda post their emphatic win against the Jaipur Pink Panthers. The win which guarantees U Mumba a spot in the semi-finals.
Asked about his rich vein in form, Rishank said, “I definitely feel the difference compared to the previous seasons. I am more experienced now. Sticking with one team builds a sense of unity in the team and playing with such a vibe is amazing. My fitness has also improved.”
“We had a 15 day camp in Kerala, which was completely a conditioning camp. I used to make a lot of mistakes before and I was intent on correcting them this time around. We also had a pre-season training camp in Mumbai and I have tried to improve a lot on the mistakes I was making,” he elaborated.
The youngster also heaped praise on the two U Mumba veterans who he considers as inspirational figures – Anup and Rakesh Kumar.
“Anup and Rakesh have been my idols for a long time. Ever since I was a kid, I used to look at them and learn. They are in my team or should I say, I am in their team (chuckles), which is obviously very good. They are always there to help. If I have doubts, I know I can go to them,” said a blushing Rishank.
Finally, Rishank also gave his insights on table toppers, Patna Pirates.
U Mumba were the first team to beat Patna Pirates this season when they overcame the seemingly indomitable Pirates 29-27 in Pune. Rishank shed some light on how the defending champions completed the victory.
“Yes, we played really well that day. Our raiders did an amazing job and I scored quite a few points as well in the first half. We took an early lead and we always wanted to maintain that lead throughout the match. Our defenders did well too. Fazel and Mohit didn’t give away any defensive points easily. We tackled their raiders with efficiency. I think the fact that we were able to maintain our lead over them throughout match was vital to our victory.”
As pointed out by Rishank, if and when U Mumba does take on Patna in the semi-finals or finals, the key for either team would be taking an early lead and consolidating it throughout the game.