As a raider makes his raid, many times it is their 'aura' that dictates how the move will take shape. Experts say, a raider can turn out a successful raid just by sizing up the defenders.
In recent years, the likes of Anup Kumar, Rakesh Kumar and Manjeet Chhillar have emerged as the country’s most accomplished players, creating an 'aura' that has demoralised opponents. Chhillar and Rakesh have also inspired scores of youngsters in their hometown Nizampur to follow in their footsteps. One among them is 17-year-old Mohit Chhillar, cousin of Manjeet.
On Sunday, as U Mumba squared off against Bengaluru Bulls in the final of the Pro-Kabaddi League, not only did it give the home side a chance to make up for their loss in the final last season, it also gave an opportunity to the young U Mumba’s Mohit to finally move out of his brother’s shadow.
Manjeet, to his credit, has an Arjuna award and two gold medals at the Asian Games. Mohit, on Sunday, claimed a trophy his brother has yet to hold — the Pro-Kabaddi League title.
Mohit, a defender, was up to the challenge and was instrumental in many successful tackles made by the home side and matched his more celebrated brother step for step. Both teams played an intense game that swayed relentlessly from one side to the other. Tempers ran high, as climax neared. U Mumba, with an all-round game, edged Bengaluru 36-30.
The packed arena was abuzz since the get-go as celebrities from the world of sports, films cheered along with the crowd in a nail-biter.
U Mumba went into the break with a 16-8 lead. Bengaluru, though, erased the deficit in the second half, taking a 24-23 lead. Manjeet led Bengaluru’s comeback, topscoring for his side with 11 points.
With five minutes of play left, the game changed once more as a super raid by Shabeer Bapu put U Mumba in control.
Shabeer also proved to be U Mumba’s best raider of the night, scoring 10 points, while Anup recorded seven points. In the defence as well, U Mumba’s Vishal Mane and Rishank Devadiga bagged five points apiece.
"It has to be one of the proudest moments of my life. We had failed to cross the line last season. So, this season we wanted to correct that and we did it today," Anup said.