All those lined up to take on H.S. Prannoy, who won his maiden bronze in the World championship, in the coming tournaments may be in for a surprise element as his travelling coach R.M.V. Guru Sai Dutt revealed they would be working really hard to come up with a few new strokes in the armoury of Prannoy to keep the winning momentum going on.
“Well, we are pleased to say that a couple of strokes which we tried in the Worlds did work out. Though I will not be explaining in detail for obvious reasons, for each tournament the effort will be there to provide that ‘shock’ to the opponent,” Guru informed in a chat with Sportstar from Copenhagen.
“To be honest, in the World championship, we never thought of winning a bronze or a silver.”
Dutt, a 32-year-old former Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, said the focus during the championships was more to understand conditions, opponents and different strategies.
“Importantly, Prannoy has figured out that the longer he keeps the opponent on the court, he is getting better,” he added.
Dutt was delighted to see Prannoy handling pressure during the home crowd favourite and reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen. “The way he stepped up for the occasion augurs great for Indian badminton,” he said.
The coach acknowledged that physical aspects played a part in the semifinal loss to World No. 3 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand and said playing three back-to-back matches lasting three sets slowed Prannoy down in the middle of the second game.
Both Dutt and Prannoy have been training together and the understanding between the two has gone better since the 31-year-old’s Malaysian Masters triumph in June.
“In fact, the process has been on for close to one year and it is now that the results are showing,” Guru explained.
“I am grateful to Gopi sir for the kind of discussion he has been engaging both of us and the freedom he is giving us to express ourselves. It is proving to be too good for Prannoy also. His invaluable inputs from him played a major role for sure,” the former Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist said.
“This bronze is a huge thing for Indian badminton, particularly ahead of the Asian Games next month. Prannoy is determined to keep improving. He knows his body, the conditions and the strategy better now,” Guru said.
“Overall, it has been a great experience for me also as it was my first World championship too as I have never qualified as a player. We hope to keep getting better with each tournament,” he signed off.
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