4 th February, 2016, Thursday: After a mixed start to Season Three of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, defending champions U Mumba will play two back to back games in Bengaluru - the first on 5th February against Dabang Delhi and then on 6th February against Patna Pirates, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
So far, Patna Pirates have been unbeaten in their first two games and Dabang Delhi is languishing at the bottom of the table with three losses. Nevertheless, the men in orange and black will play both the games with equal tenacity not undermining either of their opponents.
U Mumba's most recent encounter against the Patna outfit was a memorable semi-final in Season 2, which saw the defending champions secure their place in the final through a 35-18 win. The defence in particular stood out with Jeeva Kumar and Surender Nada at the helm of affairs.
The Patna Pirates encounter promises to be interesting with U Mumba's new recruit and Vice-captain Rakesh Kumar facing off against his old team. The Patna Pirates have an influx of new players like Rajesh Mondal and Iran's Hadi Oshtorak who will be looking to tackle the strong and agile Rishank Devadiga when he steps in to raid.
Last season, U Mumba faced Dabang Delhi in two consecutive matches. For the champions, Bhupender Singh grabbed 7 points in 10 raids, after coming on as a substitute in the 27-22 win.
This season, the strong defensive duo of Mohit Chhillar and Surender Nada will have to live up to the task of subduing Dabang Delhi's star raider Kashiling Adake and his partner Rohit Kumar Choudhary. On the other hand, Dabang Delhi captain Ravinder Singh Pahal will be locked in a fierce battle with U Mumba captain Anup Kumar and his deputy in Rakesh Kumar.
Looking to continue their unbeaten streak in Bengaluru since its inception, coach Bhaskaran said "We have had a few days here in Bengaluru to regroup as a team and work on our drawbacks so that the opponents don't get the better of us. We are looking at both the Delhi and Patna teams as tough challenges and are working on different strategies to beat them."
U Mumba will face Dabang Delhi on the 5th of February at 8pm at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.