Part of the Indian kabaddi team that won the gold at the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014, raider Anup Kumar led his team U Mumba to victory in the second edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). He was also the most valuable player in the first season of PKL and won the Arjuna Award in 2012.
If there is one player Kumar has learnt a lot from it is Prashant Chavan, a defender who was with Jaipur Pink Panthers in the first two seasons of PKL but has now moved to Puneri Paltan. “He is not tall but he can do so much. He has great willpower and body language. He keeps his opponent guessing.”
Kumar and Chavan played together for Air India for four years. Kumar says Chavan has always played his game the same way. “He has no attitude. He does not lose his cool or unnecessarily become aggressive. He stays calm and concentrates on winning.” Kumar adds that he has tried quite hard to be like him, but to no avail. “I don’t think I can even play 70% of the game he does. He manages to beat me.”
Kumar believes it is important that a kabaddi player, while on the sidelines, closely observe the game to be able to learn a lot from those in it.