PKL: U Mumba ‘prepared for home stretch’

Coach E. Bhaskaran is confident of his team cashing in on the home advantage as it faces a variety of opponents in the Mumbai-leg of the competition.

U Mumba star raider Kashiling Adake with students at G. D. Somani School, Cuffe Parade, as part of Kabaddi Juniors programme. Photo: Special Arrangement

U Mumba is set to face a variety of opponents for six matches on a trot at the NSCI indoor stadium in the Mumbai-leg of the Pro Kabaddi League. The team is placed fifth out of six sides in Zone A, winning three and losing three games.

Coach E. Bhaskaran is confident of his team cashing in on the home advantage. “We have prepared for the home stretch and our performance will reflect our planning,” the coach said.

Bhaskaran felt U Mumba’s defeats were due to mistakes at critical junctures in matches, arising due to shortage of experience. “The team has worked on the errors and is ready for the Mumbai leg.” He pointed out that injuries to three defensive players is a problem to be solved.

Bhaskaran stressed on close competition between squads in both Zone A and Zone B. “Matches were decided in the finishing 30 seconds a few times in this season’s Pro Kabaddi. It shows that teams are almost on par.”

‘High energy level’

U Mumbai captain Anup Kumar felt the team will gain from Surinder Singh’s energy and exuberance in the defence. The youngster scored 16 raid points in six appearances so far and the Anup felt his defender can only get better with experience. Anup said: “Surinder possesses strength and energy level is high, so he goes to tackle every raider. We have had to explain to him the virtue of keeping his enthusiasm in check.”

The team’s strength is raiding, with match-winners Anup, Shabeer Bappu, Kashiling Adake in the squad.

U Mumba will play Jaipur Pink Panthers on Friday night.