Titan Rahul eyes a dream run

“Yes, I am grateful to my franchise owners for reposing faith in me. I will not let them down in terms of commitment and hard work and winning the title is the biggest challenge for all of us,” said Rahul Chaudhari.

For his part, the 23-year-old Rahul insists that personal milestones don’t matter much to him and what gives greater satisfaction is the team winning.   -  G. Ramakrishna

He is a Titan, literally, given the record that he is the only player in the Pro Kabaddi League to score 500 points. So, it was not surprising to see Telugu Titans retain Rahul Chaudhari for the fifth edition of the tournament, starting next month, in pursuit of its maiden title-triumph in the championship.

And, for his part, the 23-year-old Rahul insists that personal milestones don’t matter much to him and what gives greater satisfaction is the team winning.

“Yes, I am grateful to my franchise owners for reposing faith in me. I will not let them down in terms of commitment and hard work and winning the title is the biggest challenge for all of us,” he said.

“We have always been a good side. One bad outing in the last edition semifinal saw our dreams shattered. There were too many defensive lapses in that game. We are sure to plug all the weaknesses and put up an improved showing in the next edition,” says Rahul, who was adjudged ‘best raider’ last season.

“Yes, the League gets bigger and tougher with the inclusion of four more teams—Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. This also means giving more opportunities to the young talent which in turn should help Indian kabaddi a lot,” says the Titans star raider.

On cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar being the co-owner of Chennai, Rahul feels it is one of the best things to have happened to the sport. “Now, imagine his millions of fans following kabaddi now and more so Chennai and the kind of impact it will have on the League. Great news for the sport itself for sure,” exclaimed Rahul, who also revealed he is all excited to realise his dream of meeting the legend during the PKL.

“Given the choice, I would love to prefer talented new faces in the auction set to take place next week (about 350 players, both foreign and Indian, will be up for bidding). The reason is they ensure the novelty factor in forming strategies,” says Rahul, who was the ‘best raider’ twice in the four seasons.

“Like many kabaddi players, I believe PKL is God's gift to the sport. And, thanks to the efforts of IKF president J.S. Gehlot and the Star Sports, we are all very popular even in the interiors of the country. Clearly, the sport has been a given dimension thanks to PKL,” explains Rahul.

The Titans star player also reminds that the PKL has also ensured that all the players are training right through the year to stay fit and are far more professional no win every aspect of the game.

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