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We have no freedom to groom doubles players: Pullela Gopichand, India's badminton coach

Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal having discussion with coach Pullela Gopichand (R) during a match against Indonesia badminton player Lindaweni Fanetri at the Uber Cup 2014
Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal having discussion with coach Pullela Gopichand (R) during a match against Indonesia badminton player Lindaweni Fanetri at the Uber Cup 2014

Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand has said that he does not have enough support to groom doubles players. This comes on the back of Indian players doing very well in singles lately, but still lagging behind in doubles.

Gopichand said, “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. 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, “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. 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 were some fantastic results.”

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