Pro kabaddi Season 8 Review: U Mumba, from challengers to bottom strugglers
U Mumba has always been the team to beat whatever the season may be. It has been one of the most consistent teams of the Pro Kabbadi editions since its inception and has the 2nd most appearances by a team in the final only behind, the mighty Patna Pirates. They have been champions in the 2nd edition and have twice finished as the runner-ups.
After finishing 4th yet again in the previous season, U Mumba were favorites to make it into the playoffs with their captain fantastic, Atrachali Fazel leading the way.
But this trend would not last long in the rest of the campaign. They failed to post any big scores with Fazel commanding his unit and Rinku Doing brilliantly but Abhishek being a bit inconsistent cost them converting their draws into a win. They won just 3 games from their first 11 matches, 5 of them being draws and 2 big losses against Paltans and Pirates.
The raiding Unit had fantastic Dou of Abhishek and Ajith but was failing to produce the goods. Abhishek had a good start but lost somewhere in between. Ajith led the way for some time but an unfortunate injury meant Abhishek had too much to do on his own.
The U Mumba defense had the most feared name among their ranks. Fazel (captain), was expected to start with full force but he too had a slow start, unlike his usual aggressiveness which was nowhere to be seen.
Rinku, on the other hand, saw more freedom out on the mat, tackling with power and precision, in the process he also became the first person to complete a sole successful super tackle on Sachin Tanwar against pirates, showcasing he is the one for the future. He ended the campaign as their leading defender with 53 tackles 7th on the top 10 list.
The major problem was the all-rounder spot for the U Mumba. The experienced Ashish Sangwan had a season to forget. He had a terrible run in his 9 matches where he managed just 3 raid points and 13 tackle points.
The Iranian Mohsen didn't manage to make a mark either. Though he scored more raid points than his teammate Ashish,12 but still scored a lowly total of 23 points in his 11 games which seal their fortunes for good.
Ajith came back from his injury, while Fazel showed glimpses of his previous self but, it was a step too late for them. U Mumba managed just 7 wins all season while drawing 10 games out of their 22 matches played. A season of promise turned into a nightmare with a 10th placed finish on the table.