Copenhagen: Calling the world no. 2 Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty “brilliant and extraordinarily talented guys”, badminton player Parupalli Kashyap feels the x-factor behind the duo’s success has been the combination of Satwik’s smash and Chirag’s skill at nets.
Satwik and Chirag, who clinched maiden bronze in the last edition of the BWF World Championships, reached the quarterfinals of the ongoing edition in Denmark with a 21-15, 19-21, 21-9 win over Indonesia duo Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.
The pair, ranked number two in world rankings, will next face Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the quarterfinal game scheduled to be held Friday evening.
Asked if Satwik and Chirag are gold medal contenders in the ongoing competition, Kashyap said to JioCinema, “Oh yes. From last year, it was in my mind that these guys can win the gold medal in whichever tournament they play. It’s just that things have to click. And they just have to have a good day because in doubles, I feel it’s a very tactical game.”
“The physicality of the game is not much in doubles but the tactical part of it is extremely important. They also have the X-factor of Satwik’s smash and Chirag’s skill at the nets. With a little luck, they are gold medal contenders.”
Talking about the pair who can challenge Satwik and Chirag, Kashyap opined, “I don’t think there’s any pair right now that would go into a match and think they have an edge over Chirag and Satwik. absolutely no one.”
“There was only one pair that I could think of – Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia. But, they defeated them in the Indonesia Open finals and it changed things. It was a brilliant win for them.”
Reflecting on the time when he first saw Satwik and Chirag, Kashyap recalled, “I remember clearly, I saw their junior Nationals final. Chirag was playing with Arjun as partner and Satwik was playing with Krishna Prasad. I remember watching them and I was like, these guys are so good.”
“Especially Chirag and Satwik were special. Taking nothing away from Arjun and Krishna Prasad, these two were just extraordinary. In a few years’ time, they came to the national camp, and they were only getting better and better with more practice. They were also blessed with top level coaches to guide them.”