Badminton in India is seemingly on the rise. After a stellar performance from the badminton contingent at the Tokyo Olympics, the group backed it up with a strong performance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier in 2022. The badminton stars of India will look to carry on their incredible form into 2023.
It has been a feature of Indian badminton players to often shine on the singles stage. In this article, I present to you my top 10 male singles badminton players from India.
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Lakshya Sen is, for me, currently India’s best singles badminton player. The 21-year-old is ranked tenth in the world at the moment and is India’s most promising player. Born in Almora, Uttarakhand, the youngster has shown an excellent account of himself in recent tournaments.
Sen bagged a gold in the recent Commonwealth Games that were held in Birmingham. He was also a member of the team that won gold in the Thomas Cup in 2022 and also made up the team that won silver in the team event held during the Commonwealth Games in the same year. He was also a silver medalist at the Youth Olympics that were held in 2018.
It is worth reminding ourselves that Sen, at the age of 22, is ranked extremely high and could go on to achieve much more in the future.
HS Prannoy has also been around for a while. The 30-year-old from Delhi stands at his career-best ranking of eighth, a couple of places clear of fellow Indian Lakshya Sen. Prannoy, much like most top badminton stars, was coached by Puella Gopichand.
Pranoy was a part of the team that won the Thomas Cup in 2022. However, he has been starved of glory at the singles stage in major tournaments. He was part of the team that won gold in the mixed team event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Up next is the slightly more experienced campaigner, Kidambi Srikanth. Coached by Puella Gopichand, the 29-year-old has been around for some time now and has held his position as one of the best singles players in India. He is currently ranked 13th in the world, below his compatriots HS Prannoy and Lakshya Sen.
Srikanth was also a member of the team that won the gold at the Thomas Cup earlier this year. Further, he won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games singles competition.
Mithun Manjunath is a fairly young player compared to some of the lot on this list. The Bangalore-based badminton singles player is currently at his career-best international ranking. He is ranked 33rd in the world and is the second youngest thus far on the list. Korea’s Yoo Yong-sung and former Indian badminton player Vimal Kumar are among the coaches Manjunath has had thus far in his career.
Manjunath still awaits some of the honours others have on this list. However, he did finish runner-up at the 2022 Orléans Masters.
Sameer Verma is an experienced campaigner from Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. The 28-year-old is currently ranked 42nd in the world, which is far from his career best of eleven.
Verma’s triumphs as a singles player came largely during his junior championship days. One of his best achievements came when he took the silver medal at the Asian Junior Championship held in Lucknow in 2011.
Kiran George is a young badminton player from Kerala who is one for the future in Indian badminton and finds himself in sixth place on this list. The 22-year-old is currently ranked 44th in the world, which is his career best.
Of course, George is just 22 and has plenty of time to prove himself at major tournaments. As of now, he has one World Tour title and three BWF International titles to his name.
Priyanshu Rajawat is the seventh player on this list and the youngest of the lot. Aged just 20, Rajawat has already made his mark on the Indian badminton community. He is currently ranked 47th in the world.
Rajawat was a part of the winning team that took the Thomas Cup in 2022. He certainly has lots to offer to the sport, and many will be looking forward to more glory from the youngster in the years to come.
The next player on this list is Sai Praneeth. The Hyderabad-based singles player is yet another one who has been around for quite some time. The 30-year-old is currently ranked 54th in the world. Hailing from Hyderabad also means that Praneeth was under the tutelage of Puella Gopichand.
Praneeth’s latest triumph in a singles tournament came when he won bronze at the World Championships held in Basel in 2019. Apart from this victory, he also won bronze at the Junior Championships in 2010.
Meiraba Luwang Maisnam
Meiraba Luwang Maisnam is a young Manipur-based player. He is ranked 56th in the world, which is his career-best ranking as well.
Maisnam has a long way to go in terms of achieving at the biggest stages. For now, he has four BWF Challenge/Series titles to his name.
Parupalli Kashyap has been a household name across the Indian badminton landscape for quite some time. The 36-year-old from Hyderabad is now clearly in the twilight of his career. Kashyap was coached by former badminton star Puella Gopichand. Kashyap is ranked 59th in the world at the moment.
Kashyap is a two-time gold medalist at the Commonwealth Games. He bagged a bronze at the 2010 Games in Delhi and went on to win the gold at the 2014 Glasgow Games. He also has a silver medal from the 2010 Games in the mixed team event.
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