All-time best playing 7 of PKL season 2 champions: U Mumba
Former Pro Kabaddi League champions, U Mumba, have been among the most consistent teams in the league. When Anup Kumar was the team's leader, the Mumbai-based franchise reigned over the other teams, and very few teams could give U Mumba a run for its money. U Mumba has qualified for the playoffs in four of the seven seasons played.
The team played in the first three finals, winning one and losing two. After that season, there was a slump in their form as they missed out failed to make it to the Top 4 by close margins. Their low points difference led to their early exit from the fourth season, while in the fifth season, U Mumba finished fourth on the Zone A points table. They have made it to the last two seasons' playoffs but have not qualified for a single finale since season three.
Anup Kumar and Fazel Atrachali pick themselves in the team, courtesy of their excellent record for U Mumba. There cannot be an all-time seven of U Mumba without the former Indian captain and former Iranian skipper. Talking about Anup Kumar's numbers first, the former Pro Kabaddi League winning skipper was the top points-scorer in season one with 151 raid points. 'Captain Cool' aggregated 489 raid points for U Mumba in five seasons, including 15 super raids and 13 Super 10s.
Fazel Atrachali will take the left corner position in the team. The Iranian star started his PKL journey with U Mumba and has played four seasons for the team so far. With 208 tackle points to his name for U Mumba, Atrachali has ensured that the opposition raiders do not score easy points. Besides, Fazel also topped the defenders' leaderboard last year with 82 tackle points.
Surender Nada is the unfortunate name to miss out on a place in the all-time seven of U Mumba. Fazel Atrachali's performances have been exceptionally well in the last two seasons. He led the team brilliantly after Anup Kumar's departure, while Nada also played for Bengaluru Bulls and Haryana Steelers after U Mumba released him. Hence, he did not get the left corner position.
However, his corner partner Mohit Chhillar is at the right corner position of the team. The current Tamil Thalaivas player also moved away from U Mumba after season three, but after his exit, no other defender has cemented the right corner position. In the three seasons that Mohit played for U Mumba, the 5 ft 11 in tall player managed to score 123 tackle points, including 11 High 5s. Chhillar played a pivotal role in U Mumba's journey to three PKL finals.
Shifting our focus to the cover positions now, Surinder Singh and Vishal Mane are the two options for the right cover. Singh has been sensational for U Mumba in the last few seasons. He has shown that he does not fear any raider. Besides, he has also scored a few crucial points in the raiding department. With 174 tackle points in 68 matches, Surinder's tally is much better than Vishal Mane's 62 tackle points in three seasons. Thus, he takes the right cover position.
There is no competition for the left cover position as veteran defender Jeeva Kumar takes up this position. Kumar could play at both the cover positions, but he majorly played on the left cover. In four seasons for U Mumba, Jeeva scored 111 tackle points. The young raiders found it extremely difficult to beat his dashing skills.
Speaking of the raiding unit now, Anup Kumar will lead the raiding attack. The seasoned pro will have the back of Rishank Devadiga as the second raider. Rishank played a massive role in U Mumba's success. He was the second most successful raider in PKL 3, while his overall tally was 284 raid points in four seasons for U Mumba.
Last, the team's third raider will be decided via a three-way battle between Shabeer Bappu, Siddharth Desai, and Abhishek Singh. Bappu scored 125 raid points in three seasons for U Mumba. Desai was the breakout star of season six as he destroyed the opposition defensive units with 12 Super 10s in 21 matches.
Abhishek Singh backed Desai in season six, and after his departure, Abhishek took over the lead raider's role last year. Singh has scored 209 raid points for U Mumba in 36 matches. However, since Desai made an immediate impact after joining U Mumba and helped the team reach the playoffs for the first time since season 3, he gets the third raider's spot.
Playing Seven Stats for U Mumba
Left Corner - Fazel Atrachali
Matches - 63, Tackle Points - 208
Left In - Siddharth Desai
Matches - 21, Raid Points - 218
Left Cover - Jeeva Kumar
Matches - 52, Tackle Points - 111
Center - Anup Kumar
Matches - 78, Raid Points - 489
Right Cover - Surinder Singh
Matches - 68, Tackle Points - 174
Right In - Rishank Devadiga
Matches - 59, Raid Points - 284
Right Corner - Mohit Chhillar
Matches - 43, Tackle Points - 123
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