Though India has won medals in badminton at three consecutive editions of the Olympics, things look far from bright for the country in terms of the depth of players or as was proved during the recently concluded Sudirman Cup 2021.
The performance of Indian shuttlers in the Sudirman Cup drew sharp criticisms from various quarters and as they try to leave that behind for a fresh start, we look at five Indian youngsters to watch out for at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2021.
A 20-year-old who specialises in singles, Malvika Bansod has been around for quite some time now. Considered to be one for the future since long, Bansod will be hoping to grab some eyeballs in the Thomas and Uber Cup after winning just one match in the recently concluded Sudirman Cup 2021.
Hailing from the state of Odisha Rutaparna Panda is a doubles specialist. While she already boasts of multiple BWF International Series titles, fans will certainly be expecting a coming of age performance from the 22-year-old, especially in the women's doubles section where she is expected to partner Tanisha Crasto.
Yet another doubles specialist, Tanisha Crasto made her international debut for India at the recently concluded Sudirman Cup 2021. Born to Indian parents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before shifting base to India, Crasto is expected to form a formidable women's doubles pair for India with Rutaparna Panda.
A 16-year-old from the state of Gujarat, Tasnim Mir is considered to be one of India's brightest prospects in badminton. She has been in some good touch of late, winning the singles title at the recently concluded Yonex Belgian Junior and will be eyeing to make the most of whatever little opportunity she gets at the senior level. Already a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) developmental group, there surely will be a lot of eye of Tasnim Mir.
The pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty needs no introduction. While their consistent performance at the highest level has established them as India's premier men's doubles pair, people tend to forget that the duo is still young. If Chirag is 24, then Satwik is just 21-year-old. The duo put up a stellar show at the Tokyo Olympics defeating the world number 1 pair of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo and will look to continue from where they left off in Tokyo when they take to the field in Thomas and Uber Cup.