'Showman' Rahul Chaudhari is ready to make his way into the PKL Auction 2021, after Tamil Thalaivas parted ways with the star raider ahead of season 8. The three-day auction event is set to run from 29th to 31st August in Mumbai.
Rahul Chaudhari, a household name in the PKL, has emerged as one of the most iconic faces in the league's history. He was the Telugu Titans' ace raider in the first six editions, having scored 825 raid points in 100 matches played for the Hyderabad-based franchise.
Chaudhari set the bar in the inaugural season after becoming the highest scorer with 151 raid points. The Uttar Pradesh-born raider has consistently led the attack for the Titans from there on. Despite suffering from a shoulder injury in PKL 4, the talismanic raider came out on top and won his maiden 'Best Raider' award.
After six seasons with the Titans, Rahul Chaudhari moved to the Tamil Thalaivas in PKL 7. The seasoned raider became the second only player to breach the 1000-point landmark in that same edition. Although Rahul had a forgetful campaign with only 130 raid points, his consistency in raids and extensive reach to the midline has transformed him as a threat to any opposition on any given day.
An experienced campaigner who has been a trend-setter in the PKL, it is likely that many teams will look to secure his services at PKL Auction 2021. On that note, let's take a look at the three teams that might target to pick up Rahul Chaudhari:
#3 U Mumba
PKL 2 champions U Mumba have cemented their name as one of the most reputable teams in the league's history. The franchise is home to some of the top stars in the sport.
The team that has given raiders like Anup Kumar, Rishank Devadiga, and Siddharth Desai. Under the captaincy of Fazel Atrachali, U Mumba has transformed into a unit reliant upon their defensive prowess. In PKL 7, U Mumba was inexperienced on the offensive front. The likes of Abhishek Singh and Arjun Deshwal played an instrumental role in leading the side to the semi-finals.
The team has retained Abhishek Singh based upon his remarkable campaign in PKL 7. Perhaps U Mumba could add Abhishek's raiding partner of senior nationals, Rahul Chaudhari, to their offensive unit for the upcoming season. Both raiders have played for Uttar Pradesh for many years together and have succeeded as a pair.
U Mumba could likely re-unite Abhishek and Rahul Chaudhari at the PKL Auction 2021, which will bring immense depth to their raiding unit in the upcoming season.
#2 UP Yoddha
Formed in the fifth edition of the PKL, UP Yoddha has booked a playoff berth for all three seasons thus far. They have been consistent with balance in both their offensive and defensive units.
As the team has retained their defensive core that includes their standout corners of Nitesh Kumar and Sumit Sangwan. UP Yoddha now needs an experienced raider who can lead the side upfront and raid in crunch situations. This could be the perfect opportunity for them to sign local boy Rahul Chaudhari.
Given his terrific showing in the past seven seasons in the PKL, UP Yoddha can bolster their raiding department by adding Rahul Chaudhari. Rahul also has the most do-or-die raid points by any raider in PKL history, which could be favorable for the team in the long run.
#1 Telugu Titans
Rahul Chaudhari has openly professed his love for the Telugu Titans multiple times in the past. He was labeled the poster boy of the PKL under the Hyderabad-based franchise, where he represented the franchise for six straight seasons.
Rahul Chaudhari has been the Telugu Titans' top scorer in PKL history with 845 raid points and 36 Super-10s. He has contributed 35.36% of Telugu Titans' raid points in history, leading the pack upfront with his well-known running hand touches and escapes. Many Hyderabad fans were disappointed when Rahul Chaudhari was not picked by the side in PKL 7.
Perhaps a second run with the Titans could prove to be lucky for the team as well as Rahul himself. He is a veteran who is yet to clinch the Pro Kabaddi title. Rahul Chaudhari winning the trophy for Telugu Titans would be a memorable success story if the team re-sign their former raider at the PKL Auction 2021.