Five Indian shuttlers who are making the right moves
Pullela Gopichand, the former All England badminton champion (2001) has been doing a tremendous job of producing badminton champs at a consistent rate. His academy products like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth have made it big at the international circuit.other Updated: Jun 03, 2015 16:29 IST
The encouraging thing for Indian badminton is that the buck doesn't stop here. There are a number of young players who are yet to taste the elixir of success, but have been making waves with their performances, both within and outside India.
Here is a look at 5 emerging Indian shuttlers:
1) HS PRANNOY - THE GIANT KILLER
The world no 14 has played 158 matches in total out of which he's registered victory in 103.
2015 has been a great year for Indian badminton. Saina Nehwal claimed the No. 1 ranking, Kidambi Srikanth retain the no 4 spot in men's world ranking. But the player who has probably made the biggest leap is HS Prannoy.
Prannoy started off the year reaching quarterfinals of the Indian Super Series. He upset the then world number two Jan O Jorgensen in the pre-quarters.
Prannoy had won the silver medal at the youth summer Olympics in Singapore 2010. His thirst for medals didn't stop there. He went on to claim silver at the Bahrain International Challenge in 2011.
After a two year injury layoff, he made a stunning comeback by reaching
in the finals of Tata Open International Challenge in Mumbai but unfortunately lost to fellow countryman Sourabh Verma. Prannoy stunned everyone by reaching the Vietnam Open Grand Prix in 2014 where he lost the tournament favourite Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia.
Prannoy played Singapore Open, Malaysia Open and All England Championship in the year 2015. In Malaysian open he outplayed Irish player Scott Evans, who is ranked 27th in the men's world ranking. In All England tournament he lost a close encounter against English player Rajiv Ouseph 21-17, 19-21, 18-21. Prannoy also played the Syed Modi International Badminton Championship 2015 and put up a good show by defeating fellow country players Oscar Bansal and Srujan Nandaluri.
2) RMV GURUSAIDUTT
Gurusaidutt, who hails from Gopichand Badminton Academy, Hyderabad came into the limelight when he won a gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games. He has steadily been rising in the rankings since then, and had broken into the top 20 in October 2013. Gurusaidutt won the bronze at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Gurusaidutt transitioned from to the senior level after winning a Bronze at the 2008 World Junior Championship. He was also the first Indian to win the Dutch Junior International title.
In 2009, Gurusaidutt managed to reach the quarterfinals of Denmark super series. He caused quite a flutter in the tournament when he beat former All England champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim.
Saidutt's biggest achievement will probably winning the bronze for India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he beat Rajiv Ouseph in a grueling 3-set match.
In the year 2015 Gurusaidutt has played the Yonex Sunrise Open and Singapore Open. He managed to win a match against Chinese Taipei player Tzu Wei Wang in Singapore Open by 21-9 and 21-13. He has managed to pull out two victories in Yonex Sunrise Open.
3) AJAY JAYARAM
Ajay Jayaram, 27, may not have age on his side, but he surely has the zest to make it big. He is currently ranked 36.
He reached the semifinal round of Li Ning China Masters and quarterfinal of French Open super series in 2010 and Hong Kong Super Series in 2011.
Jayaram reached his highest individual ranking of 21 in 2013. In the same year he was a part of Hyderabad Hotshots who won the inaugural edition of Indian Badminton League.
He reached the semifinals of the Swiss Open in March this year, where he lost to compatriot Kidambi Srikanth. Jayaram has also notched up good performances at the All England Open and India Open in 2015.
Apart from these top 3 men's players there are few others who are making their mark in Indian badminton like Abhimanyu Singh who has won 30 out of 56 matches. He has been playing professional badminton since 2013.
Another 21-year-old, Subhankar Dey, ran away from home to pursue career in badminton. The effort paid off as he won the Kenya International event in the year 2013. His coach Tom John says Subhankar has the potential to be in top 30 in the world.
So many talented players vying to make it big is a good sign for Indian badminton.
4) TANVI LAD
Tanvi Lad is from Mumbai India and currently holds the 92nd position in women's world ranking. She started playing in big tournaments like the Indian Open Grand Prix in 2010 and has never looked back since then.
At the BWF World Junior Championship in 2011, she registered three back-to-back victories to announce her arrival on the big stage.
She put up a commendable show at the Yonex Welsh International, 2011, by winning matches against Kate Robershaw of England (21-18, 21-12) and Sinead Chambers of Ireland (21-6, 21-10).
In 2015 she played Syed Modi International Badminton Championship, where she beat Russia's Anna Astrakhantseva 21-9, 21-1. Tanvi went down fighting to Caroline Marin in the 2nd round.
5) PC THULASI
PC Thulasi, the 23-year-old who hails from Kerala, won a bronze at the Uber Cup 2014 held in Delhi. She was a part of the women's team that clinched bronze at the Asian Games in Incheon.
She also won the Sri Lanka Open International Badminton Challenge 2014.
Thulasi has been in blazing hot form in 2015, claiming the gold at the 34th National Games. She is currently ranked 54th in the International women's ranking.
There are few more Indian women's players who are looking to break into the National squad like the 21-year-old Saili Rane who is currently ranked 71st.
These players are slowly but steadily building a name for themselves in the badminton circuit, and it won't be long before they are giving the Nehwals and Srikanths a run for their money.