New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) India’s doubles badminton coach Tan Kim Her reckons that bigger tests await the fast rising men’s pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as the opponents will now start analysing their game after their recent success.
The young doubles team etched their name in the history books by becoming the first ever men’s doubles team from India to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games (CWG). They lost 13-21, 16-21 to England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the final of the 21st CWG held in Gold Coast, Australia last month.
The pair of Satwik, 17, and Chirag, 19, is also currently India’s highest ranked at the 18th spot in the world rankings.
However, Tan feels that their opponents will try their best to pick out the flaws in the game of Satwik and Chirag.
“They, at the beginning of their careers, are doing well so far, including at the CWG. They have been playing fearlessly but they need to be more consistent. But they will face issues in future since the opponents will now start analysing their strengths and weaknesses,” Tan told IANS.
“So they need to be prepared intensely for the future competitions. Their performance may dip a bit against experienced opponents.”
The Malaysian has already identified the aspects of the game in which Satwik and Chirag need to improve in order to be a formidable pair.
“They need to be mentally stronger, more so because there will be expectations from them from here on,” he felt.
“Secondly, they need to work more on their service return and their defence. They are strong while attacking but they need to train more in sharpening their defence.”
Tan, who joined the Indian team in 2016, lauded the efforts of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, who pocketed a bronze medal at the CWG. They also played a big role in India’s mixed team gold medal triumph. They had won the first game during the final against Malaysia to tilt the issue in India’s favour.
“Their game is on the rise in recent tournaments. They have experience. Both in the mixed team event and their women’s doubles event, they were impressive even if they had to play so many matches,” Tan said.
Ashwini and Satwik made it to the semi-finals of the mixed doubles competition at the CWG. However, they lost the bronze medal play-off.
“In some days, Ashwini had to play four games in a day. Both Satwik and Ashwini were challenging for both the doubles competitions — which is not at all easy. You become mentally and physically drained,” Tan pointed out.
(Abhishek Purohit can be contacted at [email protected])