Sharath Kamal is one of the most successful Indian paddlers of all time, and every upcoming table tennis player in the country looks up to him. Rising star Mudit Dani also has the same view, as he feels that Kamal has changed Indian table tennis completely.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Mudit Dani discussed the massive change that Sharath Kamal has brought about in Indian table tennis.
The Padma Shri recipient has won a gold medal in the men's singles, doubles, and team event at the Commonwealth Games. Besides, the 38-year-old from Chennai has also represented the nation at the Olympics.
Sharath Kamal and coach Kamlesh Mehta are my role models: Mudit Dani
Mudit Dani, who has broken into the Top 10 of the junior table tennis rankings, mentioned that he grew up watching some of his current Indian teammates. He spoke in detail about the veteran paddlers in his recent interview.
"I grew up watching some of my Indian teammates now, Sharath bhaiya (Sharath Kamal), and Amalraj. I remember the first time when he won the Nationals about ten years ago, he had jumped onto the table, and I was about 11 then. Now, to be sitting across them at the dinner table, talking to them, playing with them, it's a completely different experience."
Dani labeled this experience as a 'huge learning curve' for him over the last three years. Next, he talked about Sharath Kamal, and continued by saying:
"Sharath bhaiya is the main role model and also my coach Kamlesh sir. He (Sharath Kamal) has been the best in India for the last ten years or even longer. He played his first Olympics when I was five years old. He is the best Indian player in the international rankings right now. So, just to see the longevity of his career, the way he conducts himself, more importantly, off the table, on the table, I think everyone is a champion, but the way he conducts himself off the table is truly amazing. He changed Indian table tennis completely."
Lastly, Mudit Dani highlighted how Kamal travelled to Europe at a young age and became an inspiration for all the aspiring Indian paddlers.