As somebody, who has trained with Mohali squash player Harinder Pal Sandhu at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA), Chennai, Kolkata-based 30-year-old Saurav Ghosal has seen Sandhu from close. Ghosal, the top-ranked Indian player with a current world ranking of 27, incidentally lost the 2014 senior nationals final to Sandhu and with the latter winning four PSA Tour finals this season with his latest win coming on Sunday in the Victorian Open, Ghosal believes Sandhu can soon break into the top-50 in world rankings.
“I have known Harinder for long and I am happy for his wins this season. He is playing good after suffering from injuries last year and early this year and to win in Australia is big for a player like him. I have always believed that he is a much better player than what his world rankings show and he has the potential to break into top-50 and even top-25 if he continues this form. He is dominating points and if he can continue with this attitude, he can achieve big on the PSA tour,” said Ghosal, who was in Chandigarh to train at the Abhinav Bindra High Performance Centre in Mohali.
Ghosal, who achieved his career-best rank of 15 in December 2013, had reached the final of the Asian Squash Championships in Chennai in March this year before losing to Max Lee of Hong Kong. Ghosal’s best results on the PSA Tour this year have come in the form of twin semi-final finishes at the M25 Montreal Open and The Wimbledon Club Squash Squared Open in March. With his rankings outside the top-25, Ghosal is eager to improve his rank and also lead the Indian challenge in the World Doubles Squash Championships in Manchester next month.
“I was aiming to win the title in Chennai but reaching the final in Asian Championships in Chennai was the high for me this season. There were two semifinal finishes for me and I want to explore the best techniques which work for me before the hectic season this year. That’s why I decided to spend time at the Abhinav Bindra centre here and I have been in touch with Abhinav Bindra for the last seven-eight months. I will be playing in the World Doubles Championships before playing in the World Championships in December. I will also be paying in US Open, Qatar Classic and the 50M event in Mumbai,” said Ghosal, who also spent time with squash players at Khelshala, an initiative of Satinder Bajwa, the coach of eight-time world champion Jansher Khan.
The Indian team has been training at ISA under new Indian coach, Egyptian Ashraf El Karagui, and Ghosal believes that training under the Egyptian would help the Indians. “Karagui sir has been spending time with us and to seek his inputs has always been beneficial. We have got good results under him and he understands the players well. Among the junior players, Abhay Singh, who reached the final of the British Junior Open in January early this year, is the talent to watch out for,” said Ghosal.