Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: 5 Telugu Titans players who can light up the PKL
It will be a little unfair to compare Telugu Titans' last season with Indian cricket team's performance at the World T20 2016, a tournament held few months before the fourth season of Kabaddi carnival kicked off. The similarities in the two campaigns, though, are hard to miss.
Just like the Indian team rode on the back of a superlative effort from Virat Kohli to reach the semi finals, the Telugu Titans made good use of Rahul Chaudhari's unbelievable purple patch to ram into the semis, finishing only behind the eventual winners Patna Pirates in the points table in the group stage.
Both the campaigns came to a screeching halt as both the sides began their semi final fixtures as favourites, only to lose to a team known for punching above its weight.
The non-performers of the semis, it seems, have been meted out due punishment by the management as only Rahul Chaudhari was retained and Nilesh Salunke and Vinoth Kumar were among the few names from the old team that were bought back in the auctions.
By bringing in the epitome of composure Rakesh Kumar in raiding department and 'masked man' Rohit Rana in the defence department, the team has made some of the best buys and there is little doubt that if the core of the team formed by Chaudhari, Kumar and Rana can deliver, the team can improve upon its last season's semis showing.
#1 Rakesh Kumar
Even though U Mumba failed to dominate the league like they had done before, the viewers must thank the team for gifting them the partnership of two of the most experienced Kabaddi players in the last edition of the tournament. After an uncharacteristic off season with Patna Pirates, Kumar seemed to be on a mission to stave off the previous season's not so pleasant memories of warming the bench injured. And boy! what a way to bounce back it was.
The Titans' investment in the vast experience of Kumar seems to be driven by the desire to provide the mercurial Chaudhari an anchor. Moreover, in the initial stages of the fourth season, when Chaudhari repeatedly failed to conjure up the magic of the past seasons, the team looked lost in the absence of a second dependable raider. With his doubtless abilities on the mat, Kumar could easily prove to be that part of the jigsaw puzzle the Titans missed last season.