After U Mumba finished last season in 10th position in the standings, they have gone with a revamped squad for vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 and picked a young team for the upcoming campaign. The Season 2 winners went all in to secure the services of the highly rated Guman Singh at the vivo PKL Player Auction in August and will be expecting him to produce game-changing performances on the mat this season. 

The dynamic raider was a revelation last season and his strong displays were enough to convince U Mumba to make him one of their go-to players for the new campaign. In defence, U Mumba have gone with a familiar face in the tried and tested Surinder Singh. They also roped in Harendra Kumar, and Rahul Sethpal to further strengthen their defence.

Here is what the team looks like for the upcoming campaign:

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Guman will look to go from strength to strength

Guman Singh was one of the emerging raiders who stood out with solid performances last season and amassed 95 raid points in 19 matches. U Mumba head coach Anil Chaprana rates Guman very highly and has picked him to perform the duties of a primary raider in the upcoming season. His not-out percentage of 84.5% from last season was also something that caught the eye and played a role in U Mumba making him their most expensive pick in vivo Pro Kabaddi history at ₹1.215 crores.

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Supporting Guman in attack will be Ashish who was bought for ₹45 lakhs and will be expected to play the role of a secondary raider. He scored 63 raiding points in 15 matches last season and will be eager to have an even bigger impact in the new campaign. Another raider from whom a lot will be expected this season is Shivam, who made his debut for U Mumba in Season 8 and accumulated 32 raid points in 15 matches. After being retained, Shivam will be expected to raise his game this season and add more points to his overall tally for U Mumba. 

All eyes on Surinder and Rinku in defence

On the defensive front, Surinder Singh will look to bring his A-game after having an underwhelming season last time around. He finished the last campaign with just 31 tackle points in 21 matches for Telugu Titans. Surinder enjoyed his best vivo Pro Kabaddi seasons with U Mumba and amassed 174 tackle points in three campaigns with the Season 2 champions. An aggressive defender who likes to pounce on opposition raiders, Surinder will be eager to return to his best in the new season with the team that gave him his vivo Pro Kabaddi debut.  

Apart from Surinder, right-corner Rinku is another U Mumba defender worth keeping an eye on. The right corner accumulated 60 tackle points in what was his debut vivo Pro Kabaddi with U Mumba last time around and he will be keen to make his mark again by sharing the defensive responsibilities with Surinder. 

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A few other defensive stalwarts who are expected to step up for U Mumba this season include retained players like Prince, Rahul and Shivansh Thakur. Left cover Harendra Kumar was also bought back for ₹20 lakhs and can add good value to the team.

The Iranian mystery duo

U Mumba head coach Anil Chaprana also has an element of surprise in his team for the new season. He has got two relatively unknown Iranian talents for vivo Pro Kabaddi in the form of raider Heidarali Ekrami and all-rounder Gholamabbas Korouki in the team. Since there isn’t much known about the Iranian duo, how they perform is anyone’s guess and needless to say, U Mumba will be hoping they can set the mat on fire with the mystery that surrounds their game. 

Looking ahead, U Mumba seem to have assembled a well balanced squad with youth and adequate experience. Their predominantly youthful squad are likely to play some fearless kabaddi with a license to express themselves on the mat as U Mumba eye their first vivo Pro Kabaddi title since lifting the trophy in Season 2.

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