PKL 2019 | From Anup Kumar’s die-hard fan to U Mumba’s raider, Arjun Deshwal comes a long way

no photo
 |

PKL

PKL 2019 | From Anup Kumar’s die-hard fan to U Mumba’s raider, Arjun Deshwal comes a long way

no photo

Chiranjibi Pati

Last Wednesday at 5:55 PM

You realise that the Pro Kabaddi has come a long way since its inception in 2014 when you get to know that one of the fans of U Mumba is now a regular member of the team. Arjun Deshwal has a good journey in the League and in spite of playing only three matches last season, he was retained for this.

U Mumba is one of the most consistent teams in the history of the league and they also had one of the biggest names in kabaddi in the team with Anup Kumar as their captain and primary raider for the first five editions. Come this year, U Mumba decided to release their best raider from sixth season Siddharth Desai and at the auctions, they bought Rohit Baliyan, Dong Geon Lee, Athul MS, and Abhishek Singh. There were many questions that were asked regarding the raiding department as they lacked experience.

Meanwhile, U Mumba are in the playoffs and the young raiding unit has done pretty well in season 7. Abhishek Singh has led the charge on most of the occasions while Arjun Deshwal has also supported him a lot throughout the season so far. In 16 matches, Deshwal has collected 76 raid points which also includes two super 10s this season.

Born in Muzaffarnagar in UP, Deshwal was a big Anup Kumar fan and supported U Mumba from their very first season. He even thought about representing the franchise and the dream came true for the raider when he was picked up at the 2018 auctions. After playing only three matches last season, he was retained by the franchise for season 7 and is now proving his worth in the team with some good performances.

Explaining his kabaddi journey to SportsCafe in an exclusive interview, Deshwal said, “I trained under Guruji  Dharmender Singh, who is from our family, and used to see the senior team in the village. I used to go to the Kabaddi ground every day and then Guruji took me under him and slowly, I developed the love for the sport.”

“I played the Junior Nationals in 2016 and used to watch U Mumba. I am a big fan of Anup Kumar and also had started working towards playing for them. I was a fan of U Mumba and Anup Kumar and wanted to be like him.”

 © PKL

Deshwal and Abhishek have played kabaddi together for the Uttar Pradesh team in the 2017 senior nationals before they joined U Mumba. The pair has been doing well for the U Mumba team as whenever Abhishek struggles to perform, it is Deshwal who comes up with a good performance. At the end of the day, it is the team that matters for both and Deshwal expressed his happiness over the performance.

“Abhishek and I have formed a duo and have been doing well and it's not necessary for both of us to score. There are times when he scores and I don’t. Our duo is doing well which makes me and the team and management really happy,” said the 20-year-old.

Deshwal is also very happy to play under the guidance of chief coach Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan. Sanjeev is someone who has played for India in the past and was one of the finest raiders of the team during his playing days. When asked about the impact of the coach on his game, Deshwal replied, “I didn’t see him play because I was very small at that time. Whatever he says has a lot of thought behind it. He tells us about the raiding and also about his times when he was the best raider.”

U Mumba are now into the playoffs again and the defence has also done extremely well. Fazel Atrachali’s captaincy has also been instrumental in handling the team on the mat. Many of the Mumba players have spoken about the same and Deshwal’s reply, when asked about the Iranian, was nothing different.

“Fazel’s captaincy is really good and he even says to me, “Arjun no tension”. He tells us what is going on the mat when we go for a raid and what I like the best is he gives me the freedom to play and says not to take tension,” explained the young raider.

Deshwal will now have the responsibility of taking his team to the next stage when Mumba will play their playoffs matches. As the team will not be able to finish in the top two, they have to play an extra game to book their place in the semi-finals something that Bengal and Delhi have already done. Deshwal, who mostly goes for toe touch and running hand touches while raiding, has said that the thinking is to make it to the final. 

“The plan is to try and give my best and the team is going to give their 100 percent, we are not just thinking of the playoffs but the finals,” the young raider signed off.

Cricket FootBall Kabaddi

Basketball Hockey

SportsCafe

Cricket FootBall Kabaddi

Basketball Hockey

SportsCafe

Cricket FootBall Kabaddi

Basketball Hockey

SportsCafe

SHOW COMMENTS