Is Arvind Bhat the next Prakash Padukone?
Coached by the All England Champion Prakash Padukone, 35 year old Arvind Bhat is doing terrific for himself .He has proceeded to the pre quarterfinals of the German Open Grand Prix beating Patrick Kaemnitz in straight sets 21-10,24-22.
Arvind had won the title last year as well and hence playing at the German Open is special for him. He will be looking forward to defend his title for the German Open Grand Prix Gold. Previously he has won major International titles including the Scottish Open ’04 and Czech International 2007. But the question lies in whether he will continue to raise his performance bar for the country or fade away soon?
How effective are the players coached in this Academy in the National and International levels? since this is the prime institute for aspiring badminton players. Secondly Prakash Padukone being the first Indian to win the All England Championship has done close to nothing to promote the game .
On the other hand, Pullela Gopichand has completely taken up the responsibility and performed well as the coach of the Indian National Badminton Team .There is immense potential to uplift the sentiment of the game in a country like India which is youth driven and is volatile in its interests. However not even an iota of what can be achieved is being acted upon. The academy surely coaches star players but the output has been close to negligible .
The waitlist to enter the academy is never ending and in the bargain may lose out his/her chance to play. Organisations like BAI definitely need to look into this domain in order to promote young blood in the sport More and more academies need to sprout in order to coach them as well. Players like Saina Nehwal who have been training since childhood are a whole different story but there are definitely those who require sound guidance and quality training in order to achieve their dreams.
The Indian Badminton scenario is unfortunately bleak and demands immense nurturing. Why is it that only players like Saina, PV Sindhu ,Kashyap are winning over and over again whereas no new talent is emerging unlike Cricket in which every new season has some or the other new talent growing.
Unless we create this kind of competition like countries China, Japan etc we will remain where we are, incompetent and a Cricket crazy nation only. Is not singles then we can definitely reposition the game in favour of doubles with star players like Jwala Gutta /Ashwini Ponappa.
We do not have a decent playup in men’s doubles games at all. With every victory of say Ajay Jayram/Arvind Bhat we must ask ourselves, do we see Prakash Padukone or Gopichand in them? Do we see our next Olympic Gold Medallist in them? And then they play in such a way that losing is not an option. If so, they do not belong to the Indian National Team at all. The time has come to spruce up the young blood in the country for a better tomorrow.