Ahead of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, debutantes U.P. Yoddha made splurges in the auction market as they studded their squad with some of the best in the business. One such significant addition has been that of all-rounder Rajesh Narwal. A great standby raider behind the likes of Nitin Tomar and Rishank Devadiga, his tackling abilities are also a great asset. In an exclusive interview with prokabaddi.com recently ahead of the home leg in Lucknow, Narwal, who has a tally of 367 points in the league so far, gave an insight into his life, career and U.P. Yoddha. Here are some excerpts.

What do you make of U.P. Yoddha’s start in Season 5?

We won our first two matches. In the third match, there were some mistakes but that happens. The team is performing well in the practice sessions, so we will play well in the matches as well.

How did the team prepare for the home leg at Lucknow?

At home, there are six matches to be played. All the matches are going to be tough. I think because of exhaustion, there might be some problems. But we have a lot of good young players and we could use them wisely.  

Do you have any target for the home leg?

Our target is to win all the matches in our home leg [however they have lost their first two]. We are practising as per the matches and they will be tough. So we are practising really hard.

How is the starting seven selected as the team has a mixture of both experience and youth?

Our coach decides. It depends on the performance of the players. He also considers our opinions.

Tell us about your role in the team as you are one of the senior players in the team.

I am in the team as an all-rounder, so there are responsibilities on me. In the last two matches, my performance has not been as good but I will try to perform better in the upcoming matches.

Tell us about your kabaddi journey.

I am from Haryana, so I started playing there. I have played school and national tournaments as well.

How has your VIVO Pro Kabaddi journey been?

After playing at the national level, I got selected for Pro Kabaddi. I never thought that we kabbadi players would reach such a high level. I would like to thank Pro Kabaddi for this opportunity.

Now on a lighter note, who do you think is the naughtiest in the team and also who is the most serious? Also, who do you think could be the surprise package this season?

Gurvinder Singh is the naughtiest, no doubt. And Jeeva Kumar is the most serious, while Nitesh Kumar is someone who could be the surprise package this season.

And lastly, what’s your favourite pastime and also that one thing that your fans don’t know about you?

My favourite pastime is watching movies. What many don’t know that I love football and lose my temper quickly.