K Srikanth and B Sai Praneeth will play the quarter-finals of the Superseries Australia in Sydney on Friday.
In the past, a meeting of all Indians at this stage would have seen amateurs rejoice because it would mean that India would guarantee a place in the semifinals. Instead, the underlying feeling that it is now such a shock in competition is likely to steal India from somewhere else at the end of the company to a tournament.
The feeling of being changed short is understandable given the graphic performance of the Indian hunter men in the last 12 months.
Since the Rio Olympic Games, Indian men have won three Superseries titles and recorded two finalists with at least one or two players, which always makes the last step. Add to that a large number of Grand-level titles and finished runners and one can safely say that the Indian men days that were considered as companions of the international circuit are passed.
It goes without saying that the Indians have not won titles in the past. Srikanth bagged two Superseries crown in 2015, while Aravind Bhat, P Kashyap, Ajay Jayaram and even Sameer Verma had Grand Prix gold titles to show their efforts in the past.
However, most of these podiums were considered triumphs and consistency ahead for the missing titles. But India has won the last two Superseries titles and HS Prannoy become a match point in the second game of the semi-final against Kazumasa Sakai, both have seen their peak point of India shock.
So what has changed for men since PV Sindhu came home with an Olympic silver medal in Rio?
It’s not as if the men found a magic potion that helped transform them from being talented pilots to champions. While Saina Nehwal and Sindhu make the stars with their performances and songs, the men had shown the depth in number in recent years with at least half a dozen in the top 100 and at least some making the world’s top 20 consistently ranking positions .
Currently, India has six in the top 35 and has four in the World Championship in August. And the competition is improving among Indian men with youngsters like Sameer Verma Harsheel Dani Lakshya Sen pushing the stars set by a place on the national team.
But what has really changed in the last two years, thanks to the success of Nehwal and Sindhu is the hunger to win titles, and not just settle for team rankings and selections. This meant that players are ready to take a break and train harder after returning from an injury or even for minor nuisances.
Sai Praneeth has not participated in a tournament for almost seven weeks after a shoulder injury just before the high level nationals in February and although he took the time to hit the ground on the international circuit he was the first to believe Their fitness levels for the Singapore Superseries title improvement.
Another catalyst for the sudden upward performance chart is the arrival of Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo and his assistant Hariawan in early 2017. Former world champion and Olympic champion Taufiq Hidayat’s Olympic coach entered in when the coach of the national team leader Pullela Gopichand Was in trouble to do justice to the growing demand of his time and body with the growing group of artists.