first_imgRegarded as the best Indian doubles pair in badminton, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years.Whether it’s their silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in February or reaching semi-finals of a BWF World Tour event in France, the BWF world No. 32 pair has certainly taken a giant leap.”Things have changed a lot in past couple of years for us,” Chirag told Mail Today from Lucknow. “Before we didn’t mind losing to a top ten pair, in fact giving them a good fight would make us happy. But that’s not the case anymore. We both have enough confidence in our game and we aim for a win in any match regardless of the merit of our opponent.”The 21-year old shuttler, who sailed into the next round of the Syed Modi Badminton Championship along with his partner 18-year-old partner on Thursday, credited Indian doubles coach Tan Kim Her for the pair’s much-needed confidence in their game.”Back in 2015, we both doubted if we have it in us to be at the highest level. In fact, we weren’t even sure about the partnership since the results were not in our favour. But our coach (Tan Kim Her) kept showing faith in us and backed us when others didn’t. He told us we will be at the Superseries level in two years time. Back then, we even wondered if that was possible. He transformed us into a pair who can pose a threat to anyone,” explained Chirag, who will feature in debutant Pune Seven Aces colours at the Pro Badminton League this season, beginning from 22 December in Mumbai.advertisementHowever, all wasn’t well in paradise for the duo in this calendar year as it was full of ups and downs. Straight after a successful campaign at the CWG campaign, the pair endured a horrendous run which saw back-to-back exit in the first round at three premium events. The shuttlers seemed out of form and had to wait till the World Championships to find the momentum back in their game. Chirag feels the dip in form was an indication that the duo needs to find consistency in their game.”Overall it was a satisfying season for us but we need to be more consistent with our performance and aim bigger in the next season. We could have won some decisive game this season but we couldn’t, it shows we need a way to find easy points against stronger opponents. If we solve that, I think we will be among the top 10 pairs by the end of the next season,” he said.last_img