Saina-Sindhu tie will be clash of brains, style and power, feels Gopichand

Mumbai: Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand today said it would be a clash of style and power between two cerebral players when two of his favourite wards -- Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu -- lock horns in the finals of Indian Badminton League (IBL) here on Saturday.

Gopichand, who is credited for the rise of both Saina and Sindhu, said the duo should not be looked as rivals but as a pair, who can take Indian badminton to new heights.

"It should always be Saina and Sindhu rather than who amongst the two is better. As a combination, as a pair, both of them can exchange notes at the end of each match. Both of them can benefit from each other`s experience and it gives positive for Indian badminton," Gopichand told reporters here.

"Overall it is a very good development for Indian badminton that we have two players in the top 10 and both of them competing gets much better for Indian badminton than one player playing," he added.

Talking about the Saina-Sindhu match, the former All England champion said: "It will be very interesting to see their perspective. It will be a clash of brains, it will be a clash of styles and it will be physical power to power exchanges and the mindset as well. It will be an interesting challenge.

"Both are young. (We) wish they will go onto play for a long time for the country. It will be a good match (tomorrow). Saina is at a different level. She has been in the top 5 consistently in the last four years.

"Now for the first time Sindhu has reached top 10. Both are at different levels. We will get to see more of their contests in future. Last time Saina beat Sindhu (21-19 21-8). It is a different atmosphere as it is the finals. I am sure it will be good entertainment for the fans," he added.

Asked about the healthy competition in men`s singles, Gopichand said it has been a see-saw battle so far and all of these Indian players have the potential to reach the top.

"It has been a see-saw battle. We have had some very good performances from Kashyap (Parupalli) in the past. In this tournament, Ajay Jayaram and K Srikanth have done really well. We have had some good performances from Sai Praneeth as well.

"Guru (Sai Dutt) has been impressive in patches. Overall, the spot is still a grey area. All of them have the potential to be top level in the world and that is what they have shown in this tournament," he said.

On K Srikanth`s impressive performance in IBL, he said, "We saw him play some fantastic matches. The attitude which he brings on court, the belief and the aggression is a treat to watch. It looked like he could take pressure and deliver it when it mattered. Definitely a good addition to the Indian line-up of singles player."


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