India’s chief badminton coach Pullela Gopichand says a lot of work needs to be done in doubles event and stressed on the importance of a tougher system in place.
He rued that Indian coaches don’t have the necessary freedom to groom doubles specialists in the country.
“A lot of work needs to be done in the doubles front. In our country, the coach doesn’t have the freedom like foreign coaches, in terms of forming different combinations,” Gopichand said.
“When it comes to doubles, it requires a lot of grooming. So we need tougher laws, so that once a player is selected for doubles, he or she can only play doubles and similarly for singles, that sort of authority we don’t have in India,” he added.
The 2001 All England champion expressed satisfaction over the women team’s performance in Uber Cup and said Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa were the big major positives of the tournament.
“Saina and Sindhu have been fantastic; Jwala and Ashwini too have played very well. We had our chances in the doubles and the match (against Japan) could have gone anyway, but once we lost the doubles I didn’t think we had enough depth in our team to pull it off. Overall from team point of view, it is good,” Gopichand said.
“We have to understand that for youngsters coming into the Thomas and Uber Cup for the first time and playing well is very tough. So beating Indonesia and Thailand was some fantastic results,” he said.
Asked about Saina and Sindhu’s next schedule, Gopichand said: “This tournament must have been very draining for the players so I think Saina and Sindhu will be playing Indonesia and Australia.”
Gopichand believed Saina’s performance is a big positive but said she has to guard against even a slightest dip in focus as being a top player, other shuttlers will be gunning for her.
“In sports, we can’t have things in black and white. What she performed here was very positive and she needs to keep doing the good work and I believe Saina has a few years and when I say few years, I mean at least 4-5 years and if she does well, she will win,” he said.
“Having said that I think for any sportsperson if your focus shifts and you slack then your performance will go down, there is nothing like, I am there now thing. Every tournament is fresh and everyone is gunning for you,” he said.
Saina and Sindhu had paired up to play the second doubles in the competition but Gopichand said it is not a wise strategy to have as it would affect their singles performance.
“May be they will play at some point of time but I think it affects their singles so overall I don’t it is a great strategy. Strategically, having two singles back-to-back to go 2-0 up in the tie is advantages for the doubles, so we were looking from that point of view. I don’t think It would be wise to have them play two events because it is strenuous,” he said.