One for the future: Harsheel Dani
The past decade in Indian badminton has seen some bright moments in the Men’s Singles category. Parupalli Kashyap winning the Commonwealth Games Gold in 2014, HS Prannoy winning the Indonesia Open and then Kidambi Srikanth clinching the China Open Superseries a few months later have made the fans sit up and take notice of the talent at our disposal.
But like is the case in every sport, the success over a course of time is often followed by the question of who is next in line to repeat, if not better those exploits.
There are a few young players who have shown promise. A few weeks earlier we profiled Siril Verma, today it’s the turn of Harsheel Dani.
A left-handed shuttler, a breed not seen regularly on the national circuit, the 19-year-old is a product of the Uday Pawar academy in Mumbai, also a breeding ground for Anand Pawar and in the past 18 months has shown if given time in the next few years he could be a force to reckon.
The youngster has had a fine 2016, where he reached the quarter-finals of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, the semi-finals of the Austrian Open and the quarter-finals of the Canada Open.
In 2015, Harsheel finished as the runner-up at the Turkish International and earlier this year was part of the Mumbai Masters squad that featured in the Premier Badminton League.
Mr. Pawar had predicted a bright future for the lad, a few years back and stated that the Badminton Association of India should look at sending him overseas for training.
"Harsheel is a very talented and gifted player. He has all the ingredients of becoming India's best player. For his age, he is mature and possesses excellent temperament. Once he develops strength, he will be a force to reckon with,” he said in an interview.
Presently a second-year student at the Thakur College in Mumbai, Harsheel has a long way to go in his career and the next few years will surely vital in his progress as a shuttler.