Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta
Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta

New Delhi: 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 by reaching the semi-finals of the Uber Cup last week but they were solely 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 was relying on K Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap and R M V Gurusaidutt to win the three singles and pull through as their young doubles combinations were nowhere near the standard of their opponents.

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 such as Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. BAI has 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 told PTI.

“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 – Japan, Denmark or Korea but a Danish could be a real possibility. Let’s see,” he added.
India will be competing at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games scheduled this year, besides the World Championships. 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.

The 35-year-old Fischer had last month told PTI that India’s doubles players were struggling with tactics and not reading the game properly.Fischer, who along with his partner Christinna Pedersen, had won bronze at the London Olympic Games, said a Danish coach can provide new knowledge and solve India’s doubles woes.

“You need Danish coaches. It seems that your doubles is not reading the game good enough. That is my opinion and I think they need knew knowledge, they need to change something because it is not working for them right now. I think they are struggling with tactics and reading the game,” he had said.

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