After 5 consecutive losses in their home leg of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5, Telugu Titans finally displayed some fighting spirit in Tuesday’s game against Bengaluru Bulls and managed to hold the Rohit Kumar-led side to a 21-21 tie at Nagpur’s Mankapur Indoor Stadium. Although it wasn’t an ideal result for them, star raider Rahul Chaudhari hoped things will only get better from here. “This result was important for our team,” he said at the post-match press conference, “Our motivation levels are back up now and we will hopefully only get better from here.”

The Telugu Titans captain himself has not been able to impress as much as some of his contemporaries in this season. His scoring rate has been subpar according to his own standards and that has affected the team morale. Chaudhari felt a large part of his failure to perform was because his team wasn’t able to revive him for long stretches of time after he got tackled.

“Sometimes I don’t do well while raiding and try too hard even in raids which are not do-or-die. But many times I get tackled because of a good defensive effort by the other team and our defenders aren’t able to revive me for a long time, which means I am forced to bide my time on the sidelines since there is nothing I can do to affect the result of the game from there,” said Chaudhari, “Not having your main raider on the mat puts undue pressure on the team which affects the entire team’s performance. Also, if a raider is revived immediately after being tackled he can play with a free mind. If he does not have that confidence, he has too many things on his mind while raiding and that is never a good thing.”

Chaudhari also tried to avoid comparisons with other star raiders from the league saying each person has their good days and bad days. “There are some days I score big and some days on which the coach substitutes me without scoring a single point. It depends on the kind of day I am having. I think a lot depends on the defence. If the defence comes hard on a raider, then he cannot score more than a few points, however, if the raider manages to get the upper hand then there is no way the opposition tacklers can catch him,” said the Raid Machine before adding, “For someone like Pardeep [Narwal], his team revives [him] almost immediately so he does not have to spend much time on the side-lines. In my case, this does not happen now as often as it used to till last season, so it is not fair to compare both our performances this season.”