The player is popularly known as “The Showman” in India.
Rahul Chaudhari does not need any introduction. The poster-boy of Kabaddi in India, also known as “The Showman,” is one of the most exceptional players in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). Coming from the poverty-stricken small town of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Chaudhari has reached dizzying heights in his career. Sheer hard-work has brought him to the pinnacle of the sport in India in recent times.
He has also excelled on the international stage and won several gold medals for India at the Asian Games. He was also a part of the Indian team that won the gold at the 2016 World Cup.
A look at his performance in PKL
Rahul Chaudhari was part of the Telugu Titans setup in his debut season in the PKL. He played for the same outfit for six years, creating a strong fanbase in Hyderabad in the process. Expectedly, due to his exalted talent, he holds several records to his name. He is only the second player behind Pardeep Narwal to score more than 1000 points in the history of the PKL. Furthermore, in addition to being the best raider at the Titans for five seasons, he was also the best overall raider in the fourth season, after scoring 146 points.
The Telugu Titans paid ₹1 crore and 29 lakh to retain his services during the auction ahead of the sixth season of the league. Rahul Chaudhari scored 159 points, but his performances from that point began to fall. He joined Tamil Thalaivas in the seventh season of the PKL, but scored 130 points only, which led to the franchise releasing him at the end of the campaign.
Surprisingly, a lot of teams did not show any interest in recruiting him at the recent auction ahead of Season 8. The reason for this is credited to the faltering performances of the player. The bidding started at ₹30 lakhs for the player and Puneri Paltan secured him for ₹40 lakhs only. Moreover, the Thalaivas did not exercise their right to use the FBM card. From next season onwards, Rahul Chaudhari will be seen playing for the Puneri Paltan alongside the likes of Nitin Kumar.
Poor display in Senior Nationals
Rahul Chaudhari has not delivered impressive performances in the PKL or the senior national level in recent times. The senior nationals and junior nationals are a great source of talent for PKL franchises. They look at these tournaments to make a strategy regarding the acquisition of players for the tournament. While representing the U.P team, Rahul Chaudhari managed only eight raid points in 24 raids in the last senior national tournament. This was an abysmal performance from his usual standards to say the least.
The level of competition in the PKL has intensified. Defenders today analyze raiders using the latest technology to catch their weak points. As a result, the raiders must keep evolving their strategies to avoid becoming predictable. Rahul Chaudhari’s disappointing displays are a result of defenders becoming aware of his weaknesses.
Will Rahul Chaudhari blossom under the leadership of Anup Kumar?
Anup Kumar is the coach of Puneri Paltan, which is the team Rahul Chaudhari will represent from next season onwards. He must work on his shortcomings to regain his lost form and get back among the top point-getters. Anup Kumar could be the perfect guide in this situation and this could help all the parties involved. Revitalizing a brilliant player like Chaudhari will be high on the agenda for the coach. While playing alongside figures like Nitin Tomar, it will be interesting to see how Rahul Chaudhari fares in the upcoming season.