While talking about the performance of U Mumba's defence, their assistant coach Upendra Kumar has said that they made several errors at the start and despite the raiders effort to close the deficit, they were unable to win. U Mumba lost against Bengal Warriors by 35-37 in a well-fought semi-final.
The semi-final between Bengal Warriors and U Mumba went all down to the wire despite Bengal gaining a 10-point lead at one point. With Bengal's best raider and skipper, Maninder Singh, missing in action, U Mumba defence should have been more confident about their approach but they faltered in the first half and ended up conceding an all out. The first half ended with the scoreline 18-16 in Bengal’s favour.
“We made a few mistakes at the start. Fazel was at fault for conceding two points twice and that gave Bengal Warriors four points there itself. I feel that was the turning point and then they targeted Fazel to the extent that let’s approach him and he will concede points. So, Fazel made those errors and it cost us,” Upendra Singh said in the post-match press conference.
U Mumba conceded two all-outs in total and the second all-out was courtesy of Sukesh Hegde’s four-point super raid after which only two players were left on the mat. The biggest point of weakness in the defence was skipper Fazel Atrachali's non-performance as he has been their top defender but in the semi-finals he failed to take score than a point.
“Our defence made several errors at the start. Our raiders still managed to close the deficit with good work. However, towards the end the raiders couldn’t execute their plans as well as earlier. Towards the end only Abhishek Singh got us points and another problem was that we didn’t have any raiders who could attack Bengal Warriors’ defence from the left side of the court. If we had a good raider known for attacking from the left, we could have exploited Jeeva Kumar’s shortcomings. Abhishek, Arjun and Ajinkya are all raiders that prefer attacking from the right side,” the assistant coach explained.
"After taking the timeout, we thought that Ajinkya Kapre could get us a few points and he did. However, we should have used him more (after his Super Raid) and didn’t send him in for consecutive raids and that was a bit detrimental to our cause tonight. Ajinkya had momentum on his side and could have finished the game for us, but we didn’t allow him to do so and that was a mistake on our part."
Though Mumba could have finished their last raid early as Bengal raid after that was a do-or-die and if their raider was caught the scores would have been level so maybe this was a miscalculation on their part.
“Sometimes in the heat of the moment it feels like the right thing, but the decision came from the captain (Fazel Atrachali) and Arjun Deshwal was the chosen raider to get the job done,’ Upendra signed off.
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