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PKL 9: Watching kabaddi action on TV spurred Gujarat's Rakesh to excel

Bengaluru, Oct 20 (IANS) Watching the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 2 on television, Gujarat Giants’ star Rakesh nurtured the dream of one day playing in the competition.

Having realised his dream, Rakesh is now one of the best raiders in the business. The 20-year-old has scored a whopping 60 points in PKL Season 9 and has made major contributions to Gujarat’s two victories in the season so far.

Speaking about how he developed an interest in kabaddi, Rakesh said, “I attained a huge interest in kabaddi after watching the second season of the Pro Kabaddi League on television. I started playing the game seriously in my village at that time.”

Rakesh set the stage on fire with 140 points in his debut season in 2021-22 and is continuing to do so in Season 9 as well.

Asked about the secret behind his success, Rakesh said, “There’s no secret. I practiced very well before the season and we underwent great training with our coach. We had a pre-season training camp in Gandhinagar for one and a half months. We practiced every morning and evening and our coach worked with us on every aspect of our game.”

When asked if he has any added pressure on him when the team is not winning games, Rakesh said, “I don’t feel any extra pressure. The team will start performing better in the upcoming matches. We have to work on our defense and I am certain that our defenders will put up good performances in the future.”

Rakesh also spoke about the defenders he enjoys playing against, “My confidence in my abilities is higher than what it was last season. And I am determined to help my team win the trophy. I really enjoy playing against defenders such as Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh and Fazel Atrachali.”

While Gujarat and Rakesh are geared up for their next match, PKL Season 9 action will continue with three matches on Friday.

In the first match on Friday, U Mumba will be looking to bounce back after going down 28-30 to Puneri Paltan in their previous game. However, Haryana Steelers’ raiders Manjeet and Meetu are in tremendous form and will pose a strong challenge to the Mumbai side.

The Bengal Warriors will be hoping to find form again after a crushing 24-39 loss to Jaipur Pink Panthers in their last game, but the Puneri Paltan are on a high after their thrilling 26-25 victory over Telugu Titans.

The Patna Pirates are desperately looking for a victory as they are yet to open their account in the competition, but they will be up against a raging Dabang Delhi KC, who have been unbeaten in the tournament so far.

–IANS

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