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P.V. Sindhu feels badminton has become the No. 2 sport in India, after cricket

Badminton's popularity in India has been growing exponentially, and stars like PV Sindhu have been instrumental in that.

News 22 Sep 2017, 15:28 IST

Australian Open Badminton Media Call

PV Sindhu at the Australian Open Badminton Media Call

What's the story?

P.V. Sindhu believes that badminton has become popular enough to earn the tag of being the No. 2 sport in India, after cricket. In an interview with The Times of India just before her loss to Nozomi Okuhara at the Japan Open, Sindhu was asked whether badminton has become the ideal No. 2 sport for India - to which she replied in the affirmative.

"Yes, definitely," Sindhu said. "After cricket, badminton has got its due recognition. More people are playing this game, which is good to see."

In case you didn't know...

Sindhu avenged her World Championship finals loss against Okuhara by beating her in the finals of the Korea Open Super Series 22-20, 11-21, 21-18. The duo have developed an intriguing rivalry that has captured the attention of sports fans all over the globe, and particularly in India.

Sindhu couldn’t repeat her outstanding performance in the second round of the Japan Open Super Series and bowed out to Okuhara 18-21, 8-21 on Thursday, the 21st of September. But in a sign that Indian sports fans have well and truly started looking beyond cricket, millions people tuned in to her match, cheering for her till their throats ran dry.

The heart of the matter

Sindhu opined that badminton deserves to be at the No. 2 sport in India as more and more people are playing the sport, and coming into the spotlight.

She was also asked if she feels that India’s dominance is growing in the international badminton scenario, and if that would be a worrying factor for China (which is considered the powerhouse of the sport of badminton). But Sindhu gave a diplomatic reply to that; refusing to draw any direct comparisons between India and China, she merely said that she hopes and expects many more Indian players to come up in the near future.

What's next?

Even after losing to Okuhara, Sindhu managed to jump to the second spot in the Badminton World Federation women's singles rankings. This is the second time that Sindhu has been ranked this high, the first instance coming in April 2017.

The shuttler is all set to take part in the national badminton championship before the end of the year, as she feels that domestic matches are very crucial in giving her the right mental vigour for her future international endeavours.

Author's take

With Sindhu producing one scintillating performance after another on the biggest of stages, and Saina Nehwal continuing her promising recovery from injury, badminton has become the cynosure of all eyes in India.

While it is debatable whether badminton is truly the 'No. 2 sport' in India, considering the ever-growing popularity of other sports like kabaddi and football, it is heartening to see the country's fans giving support to the athletes in so many different games.

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