Heading into Season 6, U Mumba’s roster boasted of some of the best defensive talents in VIVO Pro Kabaddi with the likes of Fazel Atrachali, Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Rohit Rana and Surender Singh at the forefront of a versatile and deep defence.
However, in the raiding department, U Mumba had a surprise package in their hands, and it came in the form of rookie sensation Siddharth Desai who set multiple records over the course of his incredible debut campaign. We take a look back at some of the most impressive records that Desai set and broke during VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6.
Desai kicked off his VIVO Pro Kabaddi career in prime fashion, scoring 15 raid points in 23 raids in the Maharashtra Derby, helping U Mumba earn a tie and followed it up with another Super 10 against Jaipur Pink Panthers in the team’s first victory of the campaign. He missed out on a hattrick, scoring eight raid points against Haryana Steelers, but did manage to get his third Super 10 of the season against the same opponents in the very next match and also reached 50 raid points for the campaign. By reaching that mark in four matches, Desai broke the record for fastest to 50 raid points that was previously held by Anup Kumar and Ajay Thakur, who needed just five matches.
In a Do-Or-Die situation, where it is essential for the raider to score at least a point, Desai thrived throughout his rookie campaign. In his 46 Do-Or-Die raid attempts in Season 6, Desai scored 41 raid points giving him an incredible strike rate of 89.13. No other player with over 20 raid points in Do-Or-Die situations managed a strike rate better than 80. A calm and composed figure, Desai was incredibly reliable for U Mumba when it came down to Do-Or-Die situations.
In the inaugural season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, Rahul Chaudhari set the mark for quickest to 100 raid points by reaching that mark in just nine games and that record stood for five whole seasons before Desai matched it in Season 6. Desai averaged an incredible 12.11 raid points per game in his opening nine fixtures at a strike rate of 73.15 on route to matching Chaudhari’s feat.
After holding his own for most of the campaign against Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Pardeep Narwal in the race for Best Raider, Desai eventually had to settle for third place in a hard-fought contest between the three. But Desai still managed to become the first player to score 200 raid points in his debut campaign, eventually finishing with 218 raid points in 21 appearances, averaging just above a Super 10 per match. He also was the quickest to that 200-point mark, doing it in 19 matches.