Anup Sridhar: 'I'm good at figuring out strategies'

Anup Sridhar, the two-time national champion and now coach of Awadhe Warriors for the upcoming Premier Badminton League (PBL), is confident that he can deliver the goods for the Lucknow-based franchise. In a chat with Sportstar, he eloborates on his role as a coach, Saina Nehwal, and the benefit of PBL for India.

Anup Sridhar: ' As a player myself, I know what I liked to hear during matches, and what I did not like to hear.'   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Having competed in international badminton tournaments for several years, Anup Sridhar is aware that timely coaching inputs from the sidelines can boost players' performances on the court. The two-time national champion, named the coach of Awadhe Warriors for the upcoming Premier Badminton League (PBL), is confident that he can deliver the goods for the Lucknow-based franchise.

Anup, who represented India in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is excited to work with Indian superstar Saina Nehwal, reigning Olympic champion Cai Yun, elite doubles specialist Christina Pedersen, and other players on the Awadhe roster.

In a chat with Sportstar, the 32-year-old speaks about embarking on his maiden coaching assignment:

Excerpts:

Taking charge of Awadhe Warriors:

The main role of a PBL coach is to give on-court tips to the players during their matches. As a player myself, I know what I liked to hear during matches, and what I did not like to hear.

Given the short duration of the tournament, there is limited scope for changing major aspects like technique. I'm fairly good at figuring out the right strategies - especially when it comes to picking the right team.

Coaching Saina Nehwal:

I have watched Saina play competitive badminton for many years, so I have my observations about her game. But I don't think she needs much coaching, given that she is so successful. I will help her out by researching her opponents, and pointing out their weaknesses to her. Utsav Mishra (Awadhe Warriors co-ordinator) is already working with Saina - he has been a wonderful coach for Air India over the years.

The impact of the PBL:

The biggest gain from the league is that young Indian players get a chance to interact with the best in the world. When I played in the previous edition (then the Indian Badminton League, in 2013), I found that the foreign players were quite willing to share their knowledge. These are invaluable inputs. It creates a great learning environment, and I'm sure that Indian badminton will benefit greatly.

Badminton in the spotlight:

The Badminton Association of India has done a great job to get this league going again. I know that the country is waiting for the PBL to start. The crowds will be big, and matches will be broadcast live on television - our sport will reach so many people. As for the players, they deserve all the fame and financial rewards that they will get.