India's women's shuttlers have been the headline-makers in the badminton world for more than a decade now. Saina Nehwal led the way and then PV Sindhu joined her in taking Indian badminton to the top. While they continue to dominate, little is known about the other Indian women behind them in the BWF World Rankings.
We look at the top 5 Indians in the BWF women's singles rankings before the rankings froze on 17th March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PV Sindhu (7)
PV Sindhu continues to lead Indians in the BWF women's singles world rankings thanks to her consistency at the top level for the past few years. The jewel in the crown for the Rio Olympic silver medallist was the World Championships gold which she won last year.
Sindhu has been a former World No. 2, but her form since her World Championships triumph dipped, which resulted in her sliding down the rankings to No. 7. Barring a quarterfinal at the French Open, the badminton ace couldn't do anything of note at the end of last year.
She began 2020 by getting to a couple of quarterfinals at the All England Open and the Malaysia Masters and a pre-quarterfinal at the Indonesia Masters before the shutdown happened.
Saina Nehwal (20)
Former BWF World No. 1 Saina Nehwal has slipped out of the top 10 but still maintains her spot inside the top 20 in the world. Saina began 2019 in thunderous fashion, winning the Indonesia Masters and finishing as a runner-up at the Malaysia Masters.
The rest of the year turned out to be disappointing by the London Olympic bronze medallist's lofty standards. She failed to reach another final last season although she did reach four quarterfinals, one of which was the prestigious All England Open.
The World No. 20 made it to two more quarterfinals this year at the Malaysia Masters and the Barcelona Spain Masters. She began the season on the right note and looked to have a lot of momentum until the pandemic started.
Ashmita Chaliha (77)
A huge gap exists between the No. 2 and No. 3 women's shuttlers in the country. After Saina Nehwal, the third-best spot is occupied by the South Asian Games gold medallist Ashmita Chaliha. The Assamese player is currently placed at a career-high position of No. 77 in the BWF world rankings.
Chaliha had been swiftly rising up the ranks for the past couple of years, validated by her triumphs at the Dubai International and the Tata Open International Challenge in 2018. Last season the 21-year-old made three quarterfinals and a semifinal on the BWF circuit, which pushed her into the top 80.
Mugdha Agrey (85)
Nagpur's Mugdha Agrey stole the show when she made the last-eight at the Barcelona Spain Masters in 2019. The rising star then followed it up with a run to the final of JE Wilson International Series before reaching the quarters in Lagos, Bahrain and Nepal.
The player's performances automatically propelled her to a career-high ranking of 59th although the 21-year-old's current ranking is down to the 85th position in the BWF rankings.
Rituparna Das (98)
Rituparna Das is a former national champion but injuries have kept her out of action on multiple occasions. Despite having established her talent, the West Bengal naive is languishing at a lowly 98th position in the BWF rankings.
Das even slipped out of the top 100 but a resurgence in form helped her break back into the elite bracket. She made it to a couple of finals at the Dubai International and the Italian Challenge in 2019 and a semifinal at the Syed Modi International.