London Olympics: Parupalli Kashyap was smart and clever

first_imgThe beauty of this format is that it always gives underdogs a chance. It is like One-day cricket where a team dominating in the beginning holds the advantage. Similarly, in this format of badminton, a lead by few points at the start puts the opposition under real pressure.This is why you see so many upsets these days, unlike in the past when a player had to win service and then score points. Here, a top-rung player cannot breathe easy. If he is pushed behind at the start, he can be shaky and it opens up the game for an underdog.All said and done, gameplan and proper execution are central to an unfancied player’s chances over his rival. The way Parupalli Kashyap played against higherranked Tien Minh Nguyen, it was clear that he has done his homework well. I had said in my earlier column that Kashyap needs to plan his game against Tien Minh, vary his pace, mix his variety of strokes and patiently wait for the defensive Vietnamese to crack.Kashyap did exactly that. He was smart and clever and played a tactical game. Tien Minh is a very defensive player. He likes to retrieve against a faster player. He would return each and every shuttle and wait for the opponent to commit mistakes.Kashyap kept the shuttle low and was not giving enough space to Tien Minh. In the long rallies, he would increase the pace, slow it down and then hit straight that caught his opponent totally off guard.advertisementThe shuttles being used are extremely slow and this should suit the game of someone like Tien Minh. But once Kashyap got off to a good start he played freely, and without any pressure.Now, Kashyap has a god chance of moving into the quarter-finals. He will meet Sri Lankan Niluka Karunaratne in the pre-quarters, whom he beat earlier this year.Karunaratne has often come to train at our academy in Bangalore. He is a physically strong and attacking player. He would be high on confidence after knocking down eighth seed Japanese Kenichi Tago to top Group C. But Kashyap would fancy his chances.Lang Ville of Finland stretched world No.2 Lee Chong to three games in the group stage. If Indonesian Simon Santoso upsets Chong Wei in the prequarters, Kashyap will face the former.Coming to the women’s doubles match of Jwala and Ashwini, it was pleasing to see that the two have started to get their act together.Ashwini was at her attacking best and did a lot of hard work. The Chinese Taipei pair tried to put Jwala under pressure, but she stood up to the challenge. The Indians should be confident when they take on Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao next.(The writer is a two-time national champion and former India coach)last_img

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