Home legs have proven to be more of a bane than a boon for teams in season five of Pro Kabaddi. Thus far, UP Yoddha, Gujarat Fortunegiants, Bengaluru Bulls and Telugu Titans have faced the rigours of playing a match everyday with just one day in the week to catch their breath. Gujarat Fortunegiants managed to make the most out of that week, winning five of the six matches and drawing one. Their performance can be put into perspective when you say that the rest of the teams have all struggled to maintain any semblance of momentum and have limped their way through the home leg. It is now U Mumba’s turn to be put in the crusher.
Pro Kabaddi comes to Mumbai at a time when the city is busy celebrating Ganesh Chathurthi. It is believed to be an auspicious week for undertaking new endeavours. U Mumba will be hoping that this holds true for them too. Their first opponent of the week are Jaipur Pink Panthers. Anup Kumar, Manjeet Chillar and Balwan Singh were all part of the Indian team that won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Kumar will be up against his Indian team mate and coach when Mumbai play Jaipur on Friday. The Pink Panthers come into this game on the back of a consecutive wins in Lucknow. U Mumba, on the other hand, came out of Lucknow as the only team to have been beaten by UP Yoddha.
Patna Pirates’ rampaging run ended when they lost to Puneri Paltan in Lucknow. They had gone four games unbeaten before that match and were riding on Pardeep Narwal’s nack of scoring incredible amount of raid points in every game. Against Pune, Narwal scored a whopping 19 points in the match. But he was not backed up by his team mates. Patna have looked the most consistent team so far in the tournament but they might just be making a mistake if they take Narwal’s performances for granted. That was probably the moral that they took away from that defeat. The team that they face on the first match day at Mumbai are the Bengal Warriors. They experienced a dip in form when they lost to Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan. But then they put up a gritty show to manage a draw with Gujarat Fortunegiants at Ahmedabad. Bengal are the only team that Gujarat have not been able to beat at home. They also won a thriller against UP Yoddha and will be looking to continue on their upward curve.