Has the citadel of badminton shifted from China to India?

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Sudipta Biswas | Kolkata

India is the new bastion of badminton- a phrase which has long been touted as the most fitting words in the wake of India’s empathic rise in the game. With the growth of a bunch of young and energetic players, India has fast emerged as the reckoning force in the court. In both- men’s and women’s singles- a bunch of shuttlers rose to fame in the last one and a half decade. The likes of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Prannoy B.S have emerged as the world’s best.

But, it is still a matter of question whether the powerbase of badminton has shifted from China to India, or not. The answer is outright, no, because the game earned a worldwide acceptance in other regions, in the meantime, rather than converging on one country. Since India rose to fame in the last decade, China’s hegemony over the game faced a tough challenge from their Indian counterparts.

Saina Nehwal in action (Source: Twitter/@SainaNEhwal)

Once China used to enjoy supremacy over their opponents when the the sport  was limited to the Asia Pacific region. Now, one can see countries like Denmark, England, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong Japan, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Canada have emerged as forces to reckon with from across the net. It is therefore apparent that by any means it is not limited to India alone; rather we can say badminton got its own pockets where it has strong public appeal.

In the ongoing season, Indians were found struggling at major events.
With not a single title in their bag Sindhu and Verma, two Indians who qualified for the BWF World Tour championship would be keen to yield the desired result to improve India’s performance graph in 2018. They began their campaign on a positive note. While world no. 3 Sindhu notched up a thrilling victory over world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in her women’s singles Group-A match, Verma defeated Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in straight games.

PV Sindhu ib action. (Soirce: Twitter/@PVSindhu1)

On the other hand, India’s failure to present themselves as a better doubles playing nation affected their image in front of the global community. India doesn’t have a single pair of envoy in the top 25 BWF World Rankings. So, it is clear that Indian think-tank, led by former All-England champions Pullela Gopichand would have to come up with tight strategies to trounce their overseas stars in the upcoming season.

As the popularity of badminton touches a new height in the country thousands of youngsters are being seen hitting the academies, run by former players, with a wish to become professionals. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the future of Indian badminton is bright and the young guns have the potential to outwit their opponents and emerge as the badminton giants in the coming years.

The views expressed by the writer are solely of his own and not of Ground Report and we are not liable for it.