‘You can’t just be fooling round’: HS Prannoy on how the Indian team pulled out all the stops to win the Thomas Cup | Badminton News

NEW DELHI: India’s Thomas Cup victory is one for the ages. Singles badminton in India has made itself a drive to be reckoned with in the twenty first century, however a high rung team occasion was by no means actually seen as one that might be gained outright. The consultants do not shrink back from admitting it, which is why the 2022 Thomas Cup win has been put on a pedestal. India are the males’s world champions in a way. The win over 14-time champions Indonesia set that assertion in stone.
But what actually modified to encourage the team to do what only a few anticipated — defeating Malaysia in the quarterfinals, Denmark in the semis and Indonesia in the last?
While the doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have been talked about as the story of the match, the basis of that fiery perspective was laid by senior professionals Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, who led from the entrance: Srikanth gained all his six matches, Prannoy all his 5.
Prannoy spoke to TimesofIndia.com about that have in a particular interview.
Why Prannoy’s feat (5 wins in 5 video games) has a bit extra metal to it’s due to the undeniable fact that he introduced India again from the brink of defeat twice — as soon as in the quarters after which in the semis. On each events, India gained 3-2 to ebook a spot of their maiden Thomas Cup last.


(Photo credit score: Badminton Photo)
In an interview with Timesofindia.com, Prannoy lives by way of these highs and lows, together with his slip and scare in the match in opposition to Denmark, the reduction of not being required to play in the last and the disbelief of defeating Indonesia 3-0 to win the title.
You are a part of a world champion Indian team, but it surely should be a reduction that you weren’t required to play a decisive fifth match for the third time in a row and will just watch and soar in pleasure after the win?
Frankly I used to be relieved as a result of I did not need to go out there and take the stress once more. It is next-level stress. The whole nation is wanting up to you in a match like 2-all and moving into the decider, something can occur. I bear in mind telling all people (throughout the last) to give me an opportunity to run onto the courtroom this time. I did not need all people to run on me (laughs). That was actually good as a result of it is all the time robust to play these final matches…I used to be mentally prepared to play the decider, however then it is a large reduction that you understand that you do not have to take that additional stress and you may just take pleasure in that second even higher.
A 3-0 win over powerhouse Indonesia in the last was virtually unbelievable. Did the gamers in the team really feel the similar manner?
Yes, it was a shock. But at the again of our minds we knew that Lakshya (Sen) was going to fireplace on that exact day. Somehow, we just felt that that is the day when he’s going to get us that win. But I believe doubles was very contact and go as a result of we knew that Chirag-Satwik didn’t have a terrific document in opposition to Kevin (Sukamuljo, who partnered Mohammad Ahsan). That was the match that we saved at 50:50. I’d say all the matches had been 50:50, Srikanth vs (Jonatan) Christie additionally. I believe the final two matches earlier than the Thomas Cup, Christie had gained in opposition to Srikanth. So whenever you see the document, I believe all the things was going 50:50.


(Photo credit score: HS Prannoy Twitter)
So 3-0 was very robust to even take into consideration. We had been pondering that it might come to the final match. We had been retaining Lakshya at 60:40 for the first match after which doubles was 50:50. I personally knew Srikanth might pull it off due to the circumstances over there and the manner Srikanth was taking part in. I saved him at 60:40…I felt that right here he would possibly pull it off. I saved it at a 2-all rating (with fifth match to determine the last) as a result of I believe the second doubles (tie) was actually robust…Lakshya gave us that (profitable) begin and as soon as that occurred, there was a bit little bit of perception that this might truly go, like, 3-0.

Let’s return to the Denmark semifinal, whenever you had an damage scare throughout the decider in opposition to Rasmus Gemke. Take us by way of what that have was like…
Things had been going actually robust for me in the first sport, down 4-11. That’s when the slip occurred. But I’d say that form of gave a variety of insights on what I can do subsequent, what all adjustments I want to make as a result of I obtained 5- to 7-minute break in between. I used to be just pondering what I can do in another way to win this sport. Yes, there was a variety of damaging stuff which was coming in, as a result of the ache was initially very unhealthy, however then most likely 10 factors later, I believe I began feeling a bit higher, a bit snug on the actions.
I might actually perceive that these are the sure actions I want to be a bit bit extra cautious about and I’ve to actually keep away from these, particularly the forehand soar and deep lunge in the direction of the forehand facet was form of uncomfortable. So I used to be making an attempt to play the sport in a manner the place…I used to be probably not operating the whole courtroom…I believe that form of fashion labored in opposition to Gemke. He was probably not snug doing that or taking part in that sport.
Coming in the direction of the third sport, I knew that I had to begin very well. I had to shock him (Gemke) with one thing that he was not anticipating and possibly that form of helped me at the begin. I began off with good tempo in the first two rallies the place I went on to hit two smashes and I went on to observe it up. That form of technique actually labored. I used to be wanting to end the sport as quickly as attainable. I used to be making an attempt to take pleasure in that momentum however tactically I used to be making a variety of adjustments in the sport, once more which, I believe, form of helped on that exact day.
The team had a bit stutter in the group stage when India misplaced to Chinese Taipei. Did that loss wake you (Indian team) up in a manner?
It made us a bit bit dissatisfied, as a result of we wished to high the group. Getting a second-place team from the different group in the quarterfinal would enhance our possibilities of a medal, however we ultimately went on to lose in opposition to Taipei. That gave us a variety of insights on how our physique language was in the whole tie in opposition to Chinese Taipei. I actually felt that we did not present that intent in opposition to Taipei. But it just modified after that. Everybody was just so fired up publish the Taipei match…. From the Malaysia match (quarterfinal), the physique language was most likely 30-40% higher in each participant.
A team occasion has by no means been India’s sturdy level. What did the team do in another way this time in the lead up to this match?
I believe in the earlier years, we by no means had any conversations earlier than going for team occasions or how to method the team occasions. We used to just go, play and are available again. I believe this time, Srikanth and I took the cost as a result of we knew it was a younger squad, however one which had a variety of potential
Everyone was essential to this team as a result of if somebody just isn’t match on a specific day, they (reserve participant) want to step up and play…That is the very first thing we mentioned in the team assembly, that each single particular person wants to be prepared if a match comes up on a specific day. You can’t just be fooling round pondering that ‘oh, I’m not taking part in on this occasion’…You have to be prepared mentally, have to be prepared bodily, have to put together the day like how we do for a match. I believe all people was doing preparation on these traces.
One factor that we collectively advised everybody was to be very, very cautious as a result of this was a really lengthy match, virtually 10 days. First factor that we had to hold in our thoughts is that there’ll be matches in a tie the place a couple of are going to win and some are going to lose. You should have seen a variety of ties going 3-2. So there’ll be a few gamers or a few pairs in the team who would possibly be mentally a bit down…But the intent wants to be very clear the subsequent day whenever you come again to play the subsequent match, just can’t be dwelling on what occurred the earlier day. These had been the issues we advised (the juniors) as senior gamers. Sometimes the juniors take losses in a really unhealthy manner, they do not get again to their traditional self the subsequent day. That would possibly be a foul sign for the team.
I believe all people responded very well, making an attempt to get that win for the team and all people knew their likelihood might come for a specific match. So all these had been the small bits that we advised as seniors as a result of we knew this would possibly occur, it truly occurred additionally, after we had a few unhealthy matches in opposition to Chinese Taipei.

Like in the case of Lakshya, who was making an attempt his greatest however was taking part in in opposition to the world’s high 5, he was unwell as nicely. There had been a variety of damaging issues taking place (for him), however he made positive that there was constructive vibe going round in order that he feels ‘okay, no one is giving me stress’. That’s precisely what occurred earlier than the Indonesia last additionally, (everybody) mentioned ‘we all know you’re going to pull this off. There is little question’. These sorts of talks made it straightforward for the gamers to go out there and play with out stress. That’s what we tried to do. That form of helped.
You have had an up and down run since 2016, earlier than ending as the World Championships quarterfinalist after which getting the likelihood to be part of the Thomas Cup team on expertise. How have you ever advanced in the final 5-6 years amid all this?
I believe that is one thing wherein you evolve as a participant and evolve as a human being as nicely, I’d say. It takes time for you to settle for that sport is a bit bit merciless at occasions. You need to carry out at the highest stage each single day however generally for some folks that does not occur as a result of your physique is your largest opponent at occasions. You have to battle in opposition to ten dozen issues and discover solutions to that in your profession.
I believe over the interval of the final 7-8 years, that is what I’ve discovered, that generally issues do not come straightforward for you, you have got to actually grind for it….You just do not examine your self with anyone else. You are distinctive, someone else is exclusive. This is what I’ve completed publish 2017 and 2018, that I’ve stopped evaluating myself to folks round, with my buddies, with my colleagues who’re taking part in at the next stage. I’m just fascinated by my happiness, what I want to achieve this that I’m blissful doing this routine on a regular basis.
I believe that has modified a variety of views as such. Now I’m ready to discover that happiness once more in coaching, making an attempt to discover new issues in the coaching logs, making an attempt to actually discover my physique as such and making an attempt to settle for no matter is coming in between, If it is an damage, I’m just taking it in my stride and probably not getting nervous about it. That is the change that has come over the previous few years, which has made me a greater participant additionally.

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