Maninder Singh has a habit of being a chart-topper. After being the highest scorer for the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 1 title winning Jaipur Pink Panthers side, he returned to the competition in Season 5 to become Bengal Warriors’ highest-scoring raider in an extremely successful campaign for the team.
But, it isn’t his perfectly-timed Running Hand Touches or his escape skills that allow him to dodge an incoming chain of defenders that he considers the most vital part of his game.
“I have a lot of confidence in my ability to return from a raid successfully. Whoever I am up against, I feel confident enough to get points against them every time I raid. I think this attitude is one of my biggest strengths,” explained Singh in an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com.
Singh has shown time and time again that he can successfully absorb the pressure of raiding in tough situations and, being fifth in the list of raiders with the most Super Raids in Season 5, he has also proven that he can put in the big raids at will. But for Singh, what his team needs from him in a particular raid is of utmost importance.
“For me every raid is decisive. I play according to the situation of the team and not for myself,” he explained.
An example of his confidence was witnessed in Bengal Warriors’ second match of the season against Telugu Titans. Going into the match, Telugu Titans’ defence hadn’t conceded 30 or more points in any one of their matches. History looked to be repeating itself at half-time as Telugu Titans had conceded just 10 points to Bengal Warriors.
But Singh led Bengal Warriors’ comeback and took the mighty Telugu Titans defence, consisting of the fearsome duo of Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mohajermighani, head on. He completed his Super 10 as Bengal Warriors rallied from behind to claim the win. Spurred on by their lead raider, they managed to become the first team to reach 30 points against the team as well.
Though he was up against a tough opposition, Singh didn’t crumble under the pressure. Instead, he let his confidence do the talking.
“I have never put myself under any sort of pressure with regards to the opposition. I just focus on what I must do,” he narrates, “My only attempt is to use my skills to the best of my ability. Sometimes it works and on other days, it doesn’t.”
The game against Telugu Titans, like most others in his VIVO Pro Kabaddi career, was one where it did.