India’s performance at the Thomas and Uber Cup finals have once again laid bare the country’s doubles woes and Badminton Association of India (BAI) has decided to address the recurring issue by hiring a specialist foreign doubles coach.
Indian women made history, reaching the semifinals of the Uber Cup last week, but were dependent on Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu in the singles, and Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in the doubles. The men’s team too relied on K Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and R M V Gurusaidutt to win the three singles as their young doubles teams not upto standard.
The dearth of a decent second doubles pair after Jwala and Ashwini was all the more evident when coach Pullela Gopichand had to look towards his favourite wards — Saina and Sindhu — to pair up in the second doubles match against top teams.
The BAI has finally decided to get BWF’s help in hiring a specialist foreign coach.
“We had discussions with BWF regarding a foreign doubles coach. We spoke to BWF president and secretary general about it and asked for their help. They said they will get back to us with a few names,” BAI president Akhilesh Dasgupta said. “We are waiting for their response. There are a number of teams who have good doubles players. So the coach could be from any country but a Dane could be a real possibility. Let’s see.”
According to sources, one of the names doing the rounds is doubles Danish star Joachim Fischer Nielsen, who has so far won at least eight Superseries titles, including two Superseries Finals victories.