India lost to New Zealand in the semi-final at Sydney in their quest for the World Cup in cricket. A game is a game and cricket is one of glorious uncertainty. No wonder Indians were sorely disappointed but the strange song and dance made of the presence of a Bollywood actress in the Sydney Stadium defiled the grace associated with the gentleman’s game. However, if Indians were disheartened by the performance of their cricket team, success in badminton should lift them out of their gloom. Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth won the two singles events at the India Open Super Series. Nehwal became the first Indian to secure the top spot in the women’s singles rankings. Rankings are determined by consistency of performance. Nehwal has been among the top ten in the last five years and in 2010 she ranked second. In the past, she won big tournaments but then had upsets. But this time she remained in good nick for months. The All England tournament and the India Open were her star events. The real breakthrough came with her spectacular success at the Chinese Open. She was the first non-Chinese to win such laurels.
Srikanth, only 22 years old, has also covered himself with glory. He has also won the Chinese Open, beating world champion Lin Dan who had bagged the top position in the event five times over. Srikanth is now world number four. Lin has himself paid a glowing tribute to him describing him as the most complete player in recent times. This is ideal sportsmanship.