Auctions Deep Dive : Should Rahul Chaudhary play for Telugu Titans in PKL 7?

 

Rahul Chaudhari, also marketed as the poster boy of India Kabaddi by Star Sports has been a mainstay of Telugu Titans. He is one of the few players who has played for the same team in all 6 seasons of Prokabaddi League. The reason for this permanence is quite obvious - his mind boggling stats, comparable to the great Sachin Tendulkar, except in Kabaddi. First PKL player to cross 500, 600, 700, 800 points and yet Telugu Titans wants more from Rahul Chaudhari. 

Rahul however has some worries when it comes to Points scored in a match - PKL1 he was at a fantastic 11+ points per match, PKL2/3 injuries brought this number down to 7.5; but he bounced back to 9.5 in PKL4 where Telugu Titans were a fitting unit to win the title. Ever since this number has been dipping and hovering around 8 points per match. Consistent dip in scoring is a reason for worry. 

Rahul Chaudhari PKL stats
Although Rahul Chaudhari's PKL points have been soaring, points per match is telling a slightly different story. 

 

Did Rahul Chaudhari stand up to expectations in PKL 6? 

We looked at our Stat Guru to get more insights on how Rahul's performance in PKL6 affected Telugu Titans' fortunes. Telugu Titans finished a disappointing 5th out of 6 teams in Zone B in PKL6. Given that Telugu is in Zone B, we will compare Rahul Chaudhari's numbers against the standout raiders in Zone B. 
 

Assuming Rahul scores around 130 points in PKL7, his price should hover around 72 Lakhs in PKL7 Auctions

 

Rahul performance average in all 4 quarters of the match

Match winners like Pawan Sherawat and Pardeep Narwal are known to score prolifically in the last 10 minutes of the match. Data reflected this hunch and Rahul Chaudhari was only the 7th best raider in Zone B, with all other teams having at least one representative in the top 7. One interesting raider who stood out was Armaan, the retained Telugu Titans player. Armaan was the best scorer in the first 20 raids in the 4 matches he played for Telugu Titans in PKL6. 

Rahul Chaudhari not the best raider
Net Points scored by Raiders in 4 equal quarters of a Kabaddi match

Rahul's net points* show he is at best an average raider in all 4 quarters of a match. Players with similar net points to Rahul are Rohit Kumar, Manjeet (Patna Pirates) and Shrikant Jadhav from UP Yoddhas. A breakdown by matches shows that in 10 out of 21 games Rahul had a positive net score. Telugu went on to win 6 of these matches. He had neutral impact in 6 games out of which 2 games Titans won. So overall, you can say he contributed significantly in winning 4 matches for Telugu Titans out of a total of 22 matches. 

Rahul Chaudhari was only the 7th best raider in Zone B.  He has contributed in winning 4 matches for Telugu Titans out of a total of 22 matches.

 

Is Rahul Chaudhari the mainstay on the Telugu mat?

When compared against the other top raiders, Rahul Chaudhari spends the least percentage of time on the mat. For instance, if a match has 80 raids Rahul is likely to be on the mat for 52 raids vs 60 raids for which Bengaluru Bulls captain and retained player Rohit Kumar is on the mat. This also means that Rahul is likely to get out more often than Rohit Kumar in a match. 

Rohit Kumar and Prashant Rai spend most time on the mat.
Rohit Kumar and Prashant Rai spend most time on the mat, where Rahul spends amongst the least!

 

Rahul went for ~20 raids in every match, like Pawan Sherawat

Although Rahul is on the mat roughly for 52 raids, how often did the team send him for raids - 2 out of every 5 raids ~39% of raids. Not surprisingly teams which depended heavily on 1 raider like Patna Pirates, Bengal warriors and Tamil Thalaivas send their lead raiders for more than 40% of the raids (when they were on the mat). 

Raider utilization
Pardeep Narwal and Maninder Singh were the most utilised raiders.

 

Overall Scorecard for Rahul Chaudhari

Rahul Chaudhari is no more the raider who brings 11 points in every match. In PKL7, we can expect Rahul to score ~6-7 points every match, unless something fundamental changes. So he is a below par first raider to have but above average second raider to have. The average cost of every point a raider scores is ~Rs 55000, assuming Rahul scores around 130 points in PKL7, his price should hover around 72 Lakhs in PKL7 Auctions. 

At any price below this, it will be a wise decision for Telugu to use their RTM card for Rahul Chaudhari.

Rahul's story is similar to that of Jaydev Unadkat. In the IPL auction, last year he was one of the highest paid players but Rajasthan Royals bid for him again and picked him at half the last year cost. Will this be Rahul Chaudhari's story?


*Jargon: 
  • Net Points : Points scored minus points lost by the player
  • Time on Mat : %Time spent on mat
  • % Utilization : %Raids while raider was on mat and had gone to raid