Rohit Kumar has been one of the most lethal and consistent raiders in VIVO Pro Kabaddi over the past three seasons. Trusted with the captaincy, Kumar has taken to his new role seamlessly this season and even crossed the 300 raid-point mark earlier this edition on the back of a few fine displays. His team, however, have not always had the best of times on the mat this year. The 27-year-old raider spoke candidly with recently and told us about his kabaddi journey and the challenges he has come across in Season 5. Here are some excerpts from the interview.  

Tell us about your kabaddi journey and how you entered Pro Kabaddi.

I started playing kabaddi when I was in school. I took part in the school tournaments. Later I went to the navy trial and got selected. I also got a job in the navy and played national tournaments there. After playing nationals my name was given for the league and I got selected for Pro Kabaddi.

What are the challenges you face as a kabaddi player?

Injury is the biggest challenge because seven players come and try to tackle you. Knee injury is especially a big challenge.

What’s your most memorable moment from kabaddi?

In the third season, I was with Patna Pirates and there I played 12 games, and in nine matches I got the best raider award. The team also won that season and I got the Most Valuable Player award. That was my most memorable moment.

As you said you were the MVP in the third season and the second costliest player in the auction, so do you feel extra pressure?

I think that is because of my game. Every player is priced as per their ability. If a player takes pressure about this then he won’t be able to perform. Then everyone will say that after taking so much money you’re not performing. So there is no pressure. I am here to perform and I will perform.

Tell us about the captaincy challenge, do you enjoy this challenge?

Yes, I really enjoy captaincy. There is not much need for me to tell the players what to do…So we know how each player plays in the team. And we’re trying to rectify the mistakes on the mat and hope to win this season.

Who is your kabaddi idol?

Rakesh Kumar [Telugu Titans] is my idol. We come from the same village and ever since my childhood I wanted to be like him.

How has the home leg been affecting the performance of teams?

See, it does affect the performance because of back-to-back matches but it’s also fun in the home leg because of the support the home team gets. The home teams do give their 100 percent but it’s kabaddi, so you cannot predict anything. The game can change any moment.