New spin serve trend catching on with Indian players

New Delhi: A new “un-returnable” spin-serve has caught the attention of the world’s top badminton players and the Indian doubles shuttlers are also not far behind as they are putting in the hard yards to master this latest skill, which many believe can give “unfair” advantage to the players.

Ever since Danish doubles player Marcus Rindshoj accumulated a bunch of points with this innovative spin serve at the Polish Open last month, it has become a rage in international badminton with players across the globe trying their hand to learn this new trick.

“We have been trying this for many days but couldn’t figure it out,” India’s doubles ace Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who forms the world no. 5 pair with Chirag Shetty, told PTI from Hyderabad.

“We started practising it just before the Asia Championships in Dubai. Coach Mathias Boe has told us to practice it for 30 to 40 minutes everyday because everyone is doing it. But it will be tough for everyone. Someone started from Denmark and now all European players are doing it.”

So what exactly is this latest spin serve? This is a kind of serve where the shuttler holds the cork of the shuttlecock in between his or her thumb and middle finger and tries to put a spin to it with a carrom strike motion before sending it across the net with the racquet.

This spin serve has proved to be a handful for the opposition players, who have struggled to send it back as the shuttle twists and falls across the net.

India’s doubles coach Arun Vishnu said it is a difficult skill to master but can be advantageous for the players.

“We are trying but it will take time to get that consistency. It is not easy, in fact, it’s very difficult. A few of them are practising it, if they can learn it will be good, it could be advantageous,” he said.

“We had shared the videos with the players. I had also tried it many times but got it right only twice out of 10 times. So it is tough. Lets hope some of them get it right.”

World no. 23 MR Arjun, who is currently playing in the selection trials for the Asian Games, said it is difficult to execute. “We all are trying to get that feel with the holding of the shuttle and execution. But it is difficult to execute because we need to have that exact feeling when to spin and contact the shuttle. I think we will be able in bring it in my game in few months.”

While spin serves have been in vogue for many years, this new variation could have a telling effect on the game, making it “random” and “boring” at the same time, feels Satwik.

“It is unplayable. Recently a Korean guy used it during the ABC in Dubai. He got 10-12 points just by serving. They started doing this service and the opposition couldn’t do anything, they were just standing and lifting the shuttle, they can’t attack, they can’t receive. It was like some beginners are playing.

“So I don’t think it is a good idea. I feel it is an unfair advantage, it will take away the charm from the game, it will make it boring.

While this latest spin serve isn’t illegal, if it becomes too unplayable then it can draw the attention of the world governing body BWF, which has, from time to time, stepped in to ensure the balance of the game.

All eyes are now on the Sudirman Cup from May 14 to 21 as players may try out this latest serve to their advantage.

“I guess all will slowly learn it and execute it in the matches. Will see in Sudirman Cup if someone is doing it,” Satwik signed off.