articles by Shirish Nadkarni

Sports

Nandu Natekar — the sorcerer who used the racket like a magic wand

Nandu Natekar's matches through the 1950s at the CCI and Bombay Gymkhana had salivating spectators queuing up for tickets overnight, with several having to be turned away because there was just no more space in the playing hall.

Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: In Carolina Marin's absence, who are PV Sindhu's biggest challengers?

In the absence of reigning champion Carolina Marin, who will be PV Sindhu's biggest challengers? From Nozomi Okuhara to Tai Tzu Ying, here's a technical analysis of reigning women badminton stalwarts vis-a-vis Sindhu.

Sports

Indian Badminton at Olympics: PV Sindhu’s 2016 silver, Saina Nehwal’s 2012 bronze constitute total medal haul

Sports like athletics have featured in the Olympics since they were launched in 1896, but badminton was included in the Games only 29 years ago in Barcelona, and hence boasts a far smaller community of Olympians, particularly in India.

Sports

Former players, coaches skeptical as BWF considers change in points system to shorten matches

Several proposals from member associations will be discussed during the AGM, the most important being a joint proposal from Badminton Indonesia and Badminton Maldives, and seconded by Badminton Asia, to "amend the Laws of Badminton relating to the Scoring System."

Sports

All England Open 2021: Lee Zii Jia could prove worthy successor to Lee Chong Wei; Japanese armada scores big

Lee Zii Jia won the All England title at the expense of the two top-notchers - Viktor Axelsen and Kento Momota - who have been at the forefront of the sport for the past three years

Sports

All England Open 2021: Poor recovery protocols to be blamed for PV Sindhu's semi-final loss, say experts

Short-interval recovery training and quick sessions in a cryogenic chamber are some of the remedies experts suggest for PV Sindhu to maintain her intensity and cope up with the unforgiving schedule.

Sports

All England Open 2021: PV Sindhu’s never-say-die spirit lands her quarter-final win over Akane Yamaguchi

Sindhu rallied from a one-game deficit to pip Yamaguchi by a 16-21, 21-16, 21-19 scoreline, barging into the semi-finals of the All England Open.

Sports

All England Open 2021: Returning Japanese, Axelsen's dominance in focus as action returns to Birmingham

The projected return of the Japanese armada, combined with the withdrawal of the South Korean and Chinese Taipei squads, and the continued absence of the Chinese contingent due to the grim COVID-19 situation at home, form the major points of discussion as the All England Badminton Championships kick-off at the Arena Birmingham from Wednesday, 17 March.

Sports

Swiss Open 2021: After loss in final, what PV Sindhu must do to return to her World Championship form

Strangely, Sindhu's overall physical fitness is also not what it was on the eve of the 2019 World Championships, and she seems to lose her breath more frequently during the longer rallies.

Sports

Swiss Open 2021: Tepid Indian performance at Basel a reason to worry about Tokyo Olympics qualification

The early exits of Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen did them no favours as they fight to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

Sports

BWF World Tour Finals: Tai Tzu Ying, Anders Antonsen crack aura of invincibility around Carolina Marin, Viktor Axelsen

Long-reigning World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying matched Carolina Marin’s scorching pace, pinned her repeatedly on her slightly vulnerable backhand baseline to come from 17-19 down in the decider to win 14-21, 21-8, 21-19

Sports

BWF World Tour Finals: Kidambi Srikanth’s vastly improved showing gives hope; PV Sindhu disappoints again

PV Sindhu must tailor her training before the Tokyo Olympics towards improving her agility and speed of foot, to complement her power.

Sports

BWF World Tour Finals: How PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth sneaked into world’s richest badminton tournament

By rights, neither Sindhu nor Srikanth would have merited a place in the draws. Two stellar rules for qualification, however, came to their rescue.

Sports

Thailand Open Super 1000: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Sameer Verma produce the sole redeeming feature of Indian performance

For the second elite World Tour Super 1000 tournament in a row, Indian shuttlers produced a dismal performance, to crash out of the Toyota Thailand Open en masse by the semi-final stage, and leave the country empty-handed.

Sports

Thailand Open: Lack of physical fitness apparent in India's performance in first tournament back

Every one of the eight singles exponents – six in the men’s category, and two among the women, comprising the cream of Indian badminton – were sidelined before the completion of the second round matches

Sports

Thailand Open 2021: ‘Withdrawn’, ‘COVID-positive’ Saina Nehwal reinstated; to play first round match on Wednesday evening

After testing positive for COVID-19, Saina Nehwal was told that she, along with husband Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy, would be moved immediately to a hospital, only for her to test negative hours later.

Sports

Thailand Open: Badminton stares at uneasy return as compulsions mount on BWF

There is no doubt that the world badminton body would have been influenced by the compulsion of holding these three tournaments in a delayed Olympic qualification year, and also by the fact that other sports like tennis and cricket have been holding major events successfully, without causing a spike in Covid-positive cases.

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.