Since making his debut in Season 3 of the Pro Kabaddi league with eventual champions Patna Pirates, Rohit Kumar has been among the finest raiders in the sport.
With 670 raid points to his name, Rohit is one of just eight raiders in the 600-raid point club and his tally of 711 total points ranks seventh-highest in the history of Pro Kabaddi.
Compared to the legendary Anup Kumar for his calm demeanour and ability to pick up bonus points at will, Rohit, like Anup did with U Mumba in Season 2, led Bengaluru Bulls to their maiden Pro Kabaddi title in Season 6, his second overall.
Through the years, Rohit has been a clutch performer for his teams and below, we take a look at five of his best efforts in the Pro Kabaddi league:
32 points vs U.P. Yoddha in Season 5
With the team in the playoffs, U.P. Yoddha opted to field a slightly weakened side against Bengaluru Bulls in their postponed fixture. However, the in-form Rohit showed no mercy and scored 32 points on the night to lead Bengaluru Bulls to a 64-24 victory over the Yoddha.
Rohit clocked 31 raid attempts and scored 30 raid points -- a Pro Kabaddi record at the time. The Bengaluru Bulls raider was tackled just thrice in the match and had 27 successful raids, giving him an astonishing raid success rate of 87.1. Rohit’s 32 points are still the third-highest individual score in Pro Kabaddi history, behind teammate Pawan Sehrawat’s 39-point night against Haryana Steelers and Pardeep Narwal’s 34-point performance against the Steelers in Season 5 and Bengal Warriors in Season 7.
17 points vs Tamil Thalaivas in Season 5
Just two games prior to his 32-point explosion, Rohit delivered a sensational performance against Tamil Thalaivas in the Southern Derby against Ajay Thakur and his Thalaivas side, guiding them to a 45-35 victory.
Rohit started his night with four straight successful raids but had just one in his next five. The raider, however, found success in eight of his next 11 raid attempts and helped his side seize the advantage in the Derby. Rohit continued to pile up the points and upstaged Thakur, who finished with 15 to help his side to a 10-point victory.
16 points vs Dabang Delhi K.C. in Season 3
Raiding alongside Pardeep Narwal meant that the opportunities to raid were equally distributed between the two raiders in Season 3. However, when an injury mid-game ruled out the Dubki King against Dabang Delhi K.C. for the rest of the night, Rohit picked up the mantle and led his side to a mammoth 33-point victory over the side from the capital.
The raider scored 15 raid points in just 19 attempts, just only two unsuccessful raids and three empty raids. Rohit started the match with just one successful raid in his first four attempts but then went on a run of nine straight raids with points, and that broke Dabang Delhi’s back. Rohit took over the responsibility of being the lead raider for the remainder of the season and led Patna Pirates to their maiden Pro Kabaddi title. Rohit was named the Most Valuable Player for his outstanding campaign.
16 points vs Patna Pirates in Season 6
While Pawan Sehrawat had established himself as Bengaluru Bulls’ lead raider in Season 6, team captain Rohit Kumar played the perfect supporting role, even stepping up and carrying the team to victory at times.
One such instance came against his former side Patna Pirates. In Match 119, midway through the first half, Patna was dominating the contest and had managed to keep Sehrawat at bay up until that point. Pardeep left Bengaluru Bulls’ defenders in a spin and with his team down to just him on the mat, Rohit went in to raid with the All-Out looming large. However, the captain picked up two points in four straight raids to not only keep the All-Out at bay but also negate the effect of the eventual All-Out on the scoreline. Bengaluru Bulls managed to seize the momentum later in the contest. However, Pardeep ensured that his team managed to squeeze out a tie. Rohit’s incredible grit saw him score 15 raid points on the night, his best performance in the past two campaign.
15 points vs Patna Pirates in Season 5
Rohit’s habit of haunting his old side wasn’t a one-off, as he did the same against the then-two-time reigning champions in Season 5.
Up against Pardeep and the Pirates, Rohit sizzled on the mat, scoring 14 raid points in 21 raid attempts while being tackled just thrice, upstaging Pardeep who managed 11 raid points in 26 attempts. Rohit was methodical and calculated in his approach, picking his spots to attack and not committing too hard against an in-form defence. However, with little or no support from his teammates, Bengaluru Bulls succumbed to a 36-32 defeat against the eventual winners of Pro Kabaddi Season 5. Rohit’s performance did earn its well-deserved plaudits though.
Feature image courtesy: ProKabaddi.com