Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Rahul Chaudhari's performance has been weak, says Rakesh Kumar
New Telugu Titans recruit, Rakesh Kumar finds himself in a challenging situation. As the most experienced player in the team, the veteran all-rounder is surrounded by young individuals who have found it tough to perform under the bright lights.
Add to that, their star raider, Rahul Chaudhari has had an indifferent start to the Pro Kabaddi season and managed to score just four points in his last game against Bengaluru Bulls.
Rakesh spoke exclusively to Sportskeeda and the experienced all-rounder couldn’t hide his disappointment with his teammate's weak start to the campaign.
“Our raiding department is a little slow. I think Rahul Chaudhari’s performance is weak compared to the previous seasons. People call him the raiding machine, when he usually goes to raid, he gets a point. I know that this up and down in form happens, I am sure he will make a good comeback,” he explained.
Kumar reckons that the entire team is to blame for their unexpectedly poor start to the campaign. Playing at home, Telugu Titans have failed to utilize the vociferous home crowd to their advantage.
“The defence has also made some mistakes. If the raider makes a mistake, we lose only one point but if the defender makes a mistake, we’ve lost 2-3 points. We’ve conceded too many bonus points in all the three matches so far,” Rakesh said.
Asked if he ever aspired to captain this Telugu side, Rakesh said that he may not have the tag of a captain but he’s been performing all the duties that one usually expects from the leader of a side. Kumar revealed captaincy was never on his mind since day 1.
“I have never had ambitions of being the captain of any side. A captain is one who controls the team and the team has given me this responsibility. The entire responsibility is on me so in a way I am the captain of this team. I only wish that my team plays well, anyone who plays well is the captain of the team,” he opined.
Rakesh suggested that not all is lost despite their sub-par beginning. He reckons the young players in the team will need time to get accustomed to the new surroundings and the demands of the league.
“It’s a new set up so the new players will take time to get used to the structure. These cameras, extra focus, the young players get a little nervous initially. Apart from that, quality wise they don’t lack anything,” he signed off.