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The Commonwealth Games 2018 gave India a new breed of the heroes
PV Sindhu appears “vulnerable” on the counter-attack, and that is a significant factor in her losing many a title clashes, including recent CWG final, observing former India coach Vimal Kumar, who believes with little more maturity and a bit of luck she will be able to pull off close matches.
Sindhu is an Olympic and World Championship silver medalist, settling for silver after losing a close final to compatriot Saina Nehwal in the Gold Coast.
It was yet another final loss for the 22-year-old, who was facing defeat in the finals of Rio Olympics, Glasgow World Championship, Dubai Super Series Final last year and India Super Series and All England Championship this year.
“Sindhu looking subdued in the final. She did not have the same sort of aggression that she has when she plays others. What I have noticed is when rallies are long and when there is a counterattack, I find Sindhu little vulnerable and Saina exploiting that.
She keeps attacking. But you don’t know what would have happening if it has gone to the third game,” Vimal says.
“Sindhu is still young, and she has played better with other girls. Unfortunately, when she loses everybody criticises, but she is just 23, she can convert these situations to her advantage.
I think that will happen. With little more maturity, it will do well. A bit of luck is also requiring.
“In this match also, she gave easy points to Saina. She was not confident of her shots. She was tentative while Saina’s body language was different, she was looking forward to the final. Has Sindhu lost in the semis, I don’t know if Saina would have been as aggressive because she was struggling against other girls.”
Vimal, who has trained Saina for around three years after she shifted base to Bangalore in the year 2014, crediting Saina’s mental fortitude but says he did not too impress with her performance against the other opponents in the tournament.
“You have to give credit to the Saina’s mental resolving, but she was not playing that great. I did not impress with her when she plays against the Malaysian girl Sonia Cheah.
She is also playing the close match against Kristy Gilmour, but against Sindhu, she is raising the bar and do differently best.
“The Rio Olympics is a big disappointment for her, she has won the Australian Open, and she is shaping up well.
I was personally very disappointing as well, but then she came back well and last world championship she won bronze after losing close match to Okuhara, she went through injury crisis again.”
Vimal said Saina could regaining the best form if she is staying fit and did not overtrain.
“It will give a lot of confidence, and I have always said that if she can stay injury free and take care of her body and not over train or do too many things, rest of things will fall into place and she can still perform and at her best.
I feel she still has 2-3 years,” says Vimal, who has represented India at the Barcelona Olympics in the year 1992.
The 55-year-old says the mixed team gold was the highlight of India’s campaign at Commonwealth Games and if the team can continue in the same vein, the country can win the Thomas and Uber Cup titles next month.
“I would rate beating Malaysia in the final as more credible. It stands out for me, getting that gold. Overall we have shown progress in mixed doubles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and that is credible. Ashwini and Sikki doing well, Satwik and Chirag can have got the gold, and that will have a big achievement,” Vimal says.
“Malaysia coach Tan Kim her is doing a good job. They can continue this, we have a good chance of winning the Thomas Cup and also a good possibility of winning the Uber Cup as well.
We have won bronze earlier. So if Sikki and Ashwini can pull off their match and Sindhu and Saina can pull off their events, it is earning.
“But I think more chances of winning in Thomas Cup because our men’s singles players can beat anybody in the world.
We have a decent combination of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy; it can also pull out matches. But all of them have to injury free. It will a good test for us,” he is adding.
Vimal also hoped Kidambi Srikanth or H S Prannoy could earn India a gold medal in Asian Games, something the country has never achieved.
“Next will come to the Asian games. There unlike in Common Wealth Games, the opposition will be adamant because China, Korea, Malaysia, all the top nations will be there but they also have the restricting number of the entries.
“So in that aspect, I hope Srikanth and Prannoy can get us a medal, we won bronze but never got a silver or gold. I remembered in 1982, Prakash (Padukone) was expected to win gold, but they did not allow him to play as he was a professional.”
Vimal also termed the scheduling at the Commonwealth Games as “harsh”.
“I thought the scheduling was harsh. It has to play bronze medal match after losing the semifinals. Players are playing in the morning and then immediately to play the bronze medal it was tough.
“It was physically tough for them. Sikki and Ashwini had played a lot of matches in the team championship. Overall we can give a lot of credit to them.”
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