India is still a class apart in Kabaddi, feels Rahul Chaudhari

Rahul says that three strong points which should make the Ajay Thakur-led Indian team a clear favourite once again in the Asiad are it has the best raiders, solid defence and a perfect blend of youth and experience.

India's star raider Rahul Chaudhari seen with fans in Hyderabad during the RaidForGold initiative launched to support Indian kabaddi team for the in the forthcoming Asian Games.   -  Special Arrangement

One of India’s star raiders, Rahul Chaudhari, who will be making his Asian Games debut next month in Jakarta, believes that this is the best Indian team and should win the kabaddi gold again.

Speaking to ‘Sportstar’ on the sidelines of the ‘RaidForGold’ initiative of Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd., which sees the players reach out to the fans, the 25-year-old Rahul says that three strong points which should make the Ajay Thakur-led Indian team a clear favourite once again in the Asiad are it has the best raiders, solid defence and a perfect blend of youth and experience.

“Yes, there is no doubt that other countries like Iran, South Korea and Pakistan are improving fast, but I still strongly feel that India is still a class apart when it comes to winning major titles,” says Rahul. “This Indian team is packed with big names who can test the best of the combinations,” he says.

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“Definitely, winning the World Masters in Dubai, recently, was a huge morale booster and after the first preparatory camp, which got over a few days ago, we will soon have another one before the Asiad in Sonepat,” says Rahul.

“The focus will be just not only on playing to our strengths but also try out innovative techniques in raids and defence to outsmart the opponents,” he said.

“Personally, it is a huge dream for me to come back with an Asiad gold. I don’t think there will be pressure on me to realise this goal for I am only a member of a team which is coached by such experienced and knowledgeable Balwan Singh (who led India to three gold in Asiad besides a World Cup gold),” he explained,

Rahul says that if India wins the gold this time around, the kind of impact it will have on the fans in the remote corners of the country will be much higher as kabaddi is already the second most popular sport in terms of tv viewership thanks to the Pro Kabaddi League.

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