Mumbai: Former Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) champions U Mumba have set their dreams instantly ahead of the season — a solid defensive line-up coupled with height health for the players, especially for vice-captain Sandeep Narwal.
Narwal is some of the maximum skilled gamers in the team and was the costliest buy (87 lakhs) for U Mumba in the public sale ahead of PKL-7.
For the Sonipat-born all-rounder, health remains a priority going into any other electricity-sapping season. “Since it’s a long season, the point of interest has shifted to health. Earlier, we would have two classes consistent with day, now it is three, occasionally four. The more difficult we paintings, the nearer we get to our aim. We must keep ourselves from injuries,” says Narwal, who commenced as a defender, but advanced raiding talents through the years.
U Mumba had a month-lengthy education consultation in Nashik in which the coaches sorted the camp. Both Narwal and Iranian defender Fazel Atrachali have an critical function in guiding the shielding facet this season. The crew performed friendlies over the path of 3 weeks to assess themselves.
“The U Mumba camp has helped us with group bonding. From local to worldwide gamers, everybody is prepared to chip in. We’re nevertheless constructing an knowledge. Even with Fazel, I’m doing the same,” he says.
Narwal, basically an attacking player, took many with the aid of surprise with his defensive efforts within the league. By the 0.33 season of the league, the sturdy player had converted into one of the exceptional defenders. He completed the season as the second-satisfactory defender with the most wide variety of address points (55), handiest behind Manjeet Chillar (sixty-one). Narwal who was part of the Patna Pirates, gained the league in the third season defeating U Mumba inside the final.
Meanwhile, U Mumba has banked on their defense for the major part of each season, with Narwhal speaking up his team’s protective capacity to take down combatants swiftly. He also added that the group that has fewer accidents closer to the quit of the campaign, will go all of the manners. “The defense is more potent from last season. There are a whole lot of up-and-coming players who are giving their 100 percent, so that makes our raiding department settled too.”
Three out of the 4 gamers retained by the franchise — Fazel, Surender Singh, and Rajaguru Subramanian — are defenders.
Apart from boasting stoic defenders in Narwal and Fazel, Surender’s arrival is a large improvement for the team. The skilled duo’s presence can help form the proficient Surender right into a fit-winner. Surender is quite underrated and is the spine of the U Mumba defense. He was just featured in seasons thus far but has emerged as one of the pleasant defenders alongside Narwal.
Narwal, meanwhile, has been in the PKL seeing that inception and has noticed the importance of group chemistry. “Communication and combination at the mat are what makes us a robust team. We’re training one at a time to shape ourselves personally.
Narwal similarly went on pronouncing how kabaddi has gained tempo within the last 5 years. After all, kabaddi is plenty extra than just a game for the Narwals.
“Be it Asian Games, World Cups or Pro Kabaddi, you’ll constantly see a Narwal on the mat doing first-rate things. Kabaddi has been part of us. Our households assist the game and each kid aspires to be an expert kabaddi participant. This is a wealthy fashion that we comply with.”
Though the sport becomes once played in villages completely, it has now grown to be simply worldwide. “From the wealthy to the negative, everyone can play kabaddi. It’s now not an luxurious game in any respect. There is not any politics worried too and it’s the united states’ beloved recreation,” he concludes.
The 7th edition of PKL will kick off with Telugu Titans gambling U Mumba, and Bengaluru Bulls taking over Patna Pirates in Saturday’s doubleheader.
Raiders: Rohit Baliyan, Dong Geon Lee, Arjun Deshwal, Abhishek Singh, Athul MS, Gaurav Kumar, Navneet, and Vinoth Kumar
All-rounders: Sandeep Narwal, Mohit Baliyan, and Ajinkya Rohidas Kapre
Defenders: Fazel Atrachali, Rajaguru Subramanian, Surender Singh, Harsh Vardhan, Anil, Harendra Kumar, and Young Chang Ko.