MUMBAI: The Indian men shuttlers are yet to reach the top-5 in international badminton. As per the records, three Indian shuttlers, Srikanth (World no. 9), Parupalli Kashyap (14) and H.S. Prannoy (20) are in the top-20 and six shuttlers in the top-50.
Badminton legend Prakash Padukone feels men shuttlers need to work harder to reach the pinnacle.
“There are three players in the top-20, it’s a good sign but they shouldn’t become too complacent. Ideally, they should try to get into the top-5 and remain there. The very fact that we have so many players in those spots means we have good amount of talent. So, with a little more hard work and proper planning they can do better at the world level,” Padukone said after announcing the eighth edition of the Tata Open International Challenge here at the CCI on Tuesday .
“I guess they need to check what Saina and Sindhu are doing (laughs). They shouldn’t be satisfied with their achievements and try to be more consistent. If Saina can do it why can’t men do it? There’s no rocket science to it. If I were in their shoes I would pick important events, give myself proper rest, try to peak around the big events and not worry so much about rankings,” the 1978 Commonwealth Games gold medalist explained.
With Kashyap and Prannoy suffering from injuries, the former All England Champion said that remaining injury-free is the key to good performances.
“I think the key to consistency is to remain injury free. Injuries are part of a sportsman’s career and one should try to reduce the risk. They need to have self-belief that even if they miss out on one or two events they can make up for it by playing events with more ranking points on offer. So that way it will give them more time to recover from niggles,” Padukone said.
Prakash commented that women’s badminton doesn’t have the same depth as the men.
“I am confident about the depth in men’s singles with fresh crop of youngsters ready to take over from the likes of Kashyap and Srikanth once they retire. There is a lot of talent (among boys) in the smaller centres. But the same cannot be said about women’s singles. Apart from Saina and Sindhu, there is no player of international class at present,” the 60-year-old said.