articles by Shirish Nadkarni

Sports

Concept of 'mixed singles' in international badminton does not hold water, will remain a non-starter

Vimal Kumar, chief coach at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy is categorical in his assessment that women shuttlers simply cannot match their male counterparts in competitive singles play.

Sports

TOPS' Developmental Group program laudable but questions prevail over badminton's selection criteria

Several questions have been left unanswered about the process by which a total of 27 junior shuttlers were selected by the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) ‘Mission Olympic Cell’ (MOC).

First Cricket News

The King and I: Looking closely at the psyche of Sunil Gavaskar, India’s greatest opening batsman

Gavaskar fearlessly took on the world’s fastest bowlers without much protective gear. His mantra was to keep an eye on the ball all the way, and ideally sway out of the way of the most lethal of bouncers, with a grave tilt of the head that would madden the bowler who had put so much effort into the delivery.

Sports

Rudy Hartono, Lin Dan, Poul-Erik Hoyer, or Lee Chong Wei, who wins the badminton GOAT race?

Forget cold statistics, for the X-factor needed for any player to qualify for the title of the Greatest Of All Time, there appears to be no need to look beyond Lin Dan.

Sports

Badminton's greatest rivalry meets its inevitable end as Lin Dan follows Lee Chong Wei into retirement

Lin Dan, known for his ability to suddenly up the ante in the middle of a match, won two Olympics gold medals, won the World Championships five times and the prestigious All-England crown on six occasions

Sports

Same crime, different punishment: BAI's disparate appraisal of Srikanth Kidambi, HS Prannoy for top sports awards

Frankly speaking, there is a lot of merit in Prannoy’s rant against the BAI. He should, by rights, have been nominated for the Arjuna Award in 2018 or 2019. His misfortune lies in the fact that Sameer Verma’s claim this year appears a mite stronger, and the ageing Thiruvananthapuram player may just have missed the boat in the stakes of having the coveted statuette adorn his mantelpiece.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Prakash Padukone – humble champion who changed the face of sport forever

In this final act of Past Masters of Indian Badminton series, Shirish Nadkarni looks back at the life and career of the man who transformed the sport in India - Prakash Padukone.

Sports

Synthetic shuttles a feather in BWF's cap or doomed to fail in drift-heavy tournament conditions?

Vimal suggests that, if at all the BWF is thinking of introducing the synthetic shuttle in tournament play, it should be done with the younger lot of players.

Sports

Former players unanimous in disapproval as BWF mulls change in format

The BWF wishes to change the scoring system to a best-of-five-games of 11 points each (11x5) from the existing best-of-three-games of 21 points each (21x3), but a host of former players and coaches oppose the move.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Pullela Gopichand – personification of grit and determination

Gopi's blossoming badminton career could so easily have been nipped in the bud, well before his hit his prime, by a terrible injury to his left knee in 1994 when he was 21, and beginning to crank up the pressure on all his rivals.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Aparna Popat - Consummate artist who became domestic legend

An unmatched talent in the domestic circuit, Aparna Popat holds the distinction of being the only Indian woman shuttler to win nine consecutive Nationals (1997-2005).

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: The Ghosh brothers — one of India’s deadliest doubles duos

The doubles record of the Ghosh brothers is exemplary. They were indisputably the best Indian doubles combination during the 1960s, reaching the National final on each and every occasion between 1963 and 1970, and winning the crown five times together.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Madhumita Bisht – tigress of the badminton courts

In an illustrious career spanning 22 years at the Nationals, from 1980 to 2002, this focused, aggressive player, Madhumita Bisht, bagged an astonishing 27 national titles that included eight singles triumphs and five consecutive triple crowns between 1986 and 1990.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: TN Seth — A gentle, graceful sporting champion who was revered by teammates and rivals alike

TN Seth was a winner of five national titles, including four singles crowns in the years 1952, 1955, ’56 and ’57, effectively punctuating the title run of his greatest rival, Nandu Natekar; and one mixed doubles title in 1951 with Doris H David at a time when foreigners were permitted to play in the Indian Nationals.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: The Deodhar sisters – Tara, Sunder, Suman dominated sport and left lasting legacy

Tara, Sunder and Dr Suman dominated the national badminton scene in all three departments – singles, doubles and mixed – individually and with one another, literally sweeping all before them, and crowding their cupboard with 23 national trophies.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Prakash Nath — the first Indian shuttler to play an All-England final

It is sad to think that circumstances forced Prakash Nath to give up badminton at the young age of 27, else there is no knowing what more he might have achieved with his tremendous talent.

Sports

Past masters of Indian badminton: Meena Shah defied norm to clinch dozen national titles before knee injury cut career short

Meena took home, in all, a dozen national titles in a glittering career that began with a women’s doubles crown in the company of Jasbir Kaur when she was a 19-year-old in 1956, and ended with the singles and women’s doubles crown in the 1965 Nationals. A serious knee injury cut her career short thereafter.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: George Lewis – the 'Guru' and first player to win ten national titles

George Lewis’ longevity and consistency were amazing. He was the first player to win ten Indian national titles, collected over a 14-year period between 1936 and 1949.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Sarojini, Sunila and Sanjeevani Apte - a tale of three sisters who ruled the Nationals

Watching Natekar play was inspiration enough, but the urge to excel at the sport was fuelled even further when the girls saw their cousin Manik Apte playing and representing Maharashtra in the Nationals.

Sports

Past Masters of Indian Badminton: Dinesh Khanna – game's ultimate returning machine

The returning machine was a regular in India squads from 1961 until 1976, including all the five Thomas Cup campaigns played during these 15 years. He captained the national squad and helped it enter the final rounds of the 1972 Thomas Cup.