Coach Jauhari wants India's male shuttlers among top-10
Hyderabad (IANS): Indian badminton's foreign coach Atik Jauhari, rated one of the best in world, wants at least one male player to emulate Saina Nehwal and get into world's top-10.
Indians have shown marked improvement since Indonesian Jauhari took over as team coach in August last year.
"The Indians are highly talented players and they are getting better. They are now doing well in international tournaments," Jauhari told IANS on the sidelines of the World Championships here.
"My target is to see one of the men players among the top ten before I finish my contract in December 2010."
Mr. Jauhari, who coached Indonesia for 27 years and took the game to new heights, hoped that one of the male player in India will soon be among the top-10.
Five Indian men are among top-50 players. Chetan Anand is world No. 15 while Arvind Bhat and Parupalli Kashyap are 24th and 33rd. Anup Sridhar is ranked 38th and Anand Pawar is 42nd.
"They all have the potential to be among the top-10 soon. We have a training programme in place and they have improved a lot in one year," Mr. Jauhari said.
Jauhari -- who coached many legends like Lim Swie King, Prakash Padukone, Sugiarto, famous doubles players Gunawan, Wijaya and Sudiarti -- believes Saina can be World No. 1.
"It's not impossible. But she (Saina) has to do it step by step. She is very hard working and she has the fighting spirit. She does not think twice before taking on any opponent whether it is Chinese or Korean," Mr. Jauhari said.
"Also if you see the top-10 women players, some of them might be there for only two-three years. Top seed Zhou Mi has come back from retirement. Tina Rasmussen and Wang Chen, ranked third and fourth, too, have been there for quite some time. So, Saina has a good chance to get into the top three."
"And now that she is among the top players, she has to be more consistent."
Mr. Jauhari says he is satisfied with the performance of the Indian team at the World Championships.
"The participation is world class here. The performance is up to our expectations. Bhat and Kashyap were close to pulling off upsets. I think they need to be mentally more strong," he said.
"When I took over as the coach, Saina was ranked No. 15, now she has gone up to No 6. Similarly, the ranking of other players have also improved."
None of the three men players in singles were able to beat an opponent above their rankings, and Mr. Jauhari denied that they lost due to the pressure of playing at home.
"Arvind has to bring more variation into his game. It is easy for the opponents to anticipate his game. Chetan was a bit under pressure against Sony Dwi Kuncoro and committed some errors. But it was one of the best performance by Sony."
"Kashyap played well against second seed Jen Chen. He needs to improve mentally and tighten up his defence," Mr. Jauhari said.
Mr. Jauhari, who had briefly coached Padukone before his All-England badminton championship win in 1980, feels that better infrastructure is needed in India.
"Badminton is the number one sport in Indonesia. There is a lot of government support. Therefore, there is a proper structure in place. There are also a lot of training centres. In India, there is more to be done to have infrastructure in place," says Jauhari, who has also coached Sweden and Taiwan.
"We need to have more training camps for the top shuttlers. They also need to play abroad so there has to be a proper structured programme for every player," he said.