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Thread: New Book (Looks Intresting)
10-25-2006, 09:49 PM #1
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New Book (Looks Intresting)
Looks to be agood read. i am yet to read it. Can we ordered online at http://www.oxfordbookstore.com/oxfor...88PNNVBF9N2W9D
TOUCH PLAY: The Prakash Padukone Story
By Dev S. Sukumar
Published by: Badminton Inc.
Price: Rs 300 (in India) + postage
US $ 10 (outside India) + postage
Payment can be made online or through cheque. Online payment through Paypal. Mail the author at email@example.com for details.
Touch Play is available at most bookstores in Bangalore: Premier (Museum Road), Blossom (Church Street), Select (Brigade Road), Strand (Manipal Centre, MG Road), Nagasri (Jayanagar Shopping Complex), Calypso (Jayanagar), KBA Badminton Stadium (Miller's Road), Canara Union (Malleswaram).
King of the World
Thirty-two years had passed since an Indian had reached the final of the All England. That was another Prakash — Prakash Nath. The Indian’s dream never materialised. Prakash Nath woke up on the morning of his final to find the newspapers screaming of rioting in his home town in the Punjab.
King was playing Delfs in the other semifinal. Prakash sat by, watching the match, and then it strikes him that King is not as forceful as always. He is tentative, even defensive, trying to engage Delfs in rallies. It was a strangely diffident King.
The final was on a Sunday, a first in All England history. Prakash was feeling good, he’d slept well and hadn’t thought about the final, although King had beaten him the four times they’d met. In fact, the last time, King had blown him away 2 and 6 in January.
I was not thinking about a win. I was feeling good and I was taking one match at a time. I’d decided I’d give him a good fight. I’ll play my game and I’m not going to give up. I’d never beaten King before. At the back of my mind I knew I’d done well coming into the All England. He was fresh, without matchplay. I was used to the climate. I also knew if I could stick on and make him run, he would crack. Mentally, he was not as strong as Rudy.
Everything felt right. He felt very relaxed. There was no awe at being in the All England final. He felt good when he knocked with one of his team mates.
He’d felt that way right through the tournament. He had felt no concern about any other player. He’d not even taken the trouble to watch anyone closely. The way he saw it, he knew his game and he knew he couldn’t make too many changes in his game. Strategy would depend on the opponent, shuttle, court, and conditions on that particular day. He’d win if he used his game to control his rival’s game. There was no way he could change; he had few variations, and in any case, everything depended on the day, on the moment. There was no such thing as a fixed strategy. Everything was fluid, dynamic, and gameplan was what evolved during the match.
The Indian team was staying at YMCA, almost an hour away. He’d play his match, warm down, and leave. In the morning he’d walk to the station, take the tube, reach the stadium, finish his match, and leave. There was a nice park nearby. He’d go to the park, put on his earphones, and listen to Mukesh. He never stayed back at the stadium to watch the others.
Frost, whom he had beaten in the semis, sounded confident about his friend’s chances. The Dane had a flight to catch the night of the final, but he told Prakash he wouldn’t go, he’d be sitting in the first row and cheering for him. “This is your big chance,” he said. Prakash was touched.
The one thing I decided was, I’d play my game and not let him play his game. Not let him attack, keep him to the base, and when he attacked, I was confident my defence was good, deception was good. Basically slow down his pace, by not letting him move early... he couldn’t anticipate, and had to move after I’d played the stroke.
Right from the beginning he got a very good length. He felt a strange calm; he didn’t even feel he was playing the final of the All England. King was again strangely tentative. Prakash could do nothing wrong; everything King did was off the mark. The attacking clears and wristy half-smashes had the defending champion constantly scampering — within two serves, Prakash was already up 10-0. This was his big opportunity; nobody had taken such a big lead over King. The Indonesian was hitting all over the place. Prakash conceded three points before taking the first game, which took eight minutes.
I was playing freely, moving well, catching the shuttle high. He was always hesitant, just fraction of a second late reaching the shuttle. When he expected something at the base, I’d play at the net.
King got his attack together it the second. He had taken off his sweater, the thundering smashes and lightning feet had found rhythm; it was 4-all. The Indian had no illusions about allowing that pace to continue — King would eat him up if he did. So he slowed it down, resorted to the short serve, pinned him back with precise tosses, and kept the top seed guessing with flicks and drops.
A 11-4 lead became 13-7. Suddenly, an Indonesian fan shouted: “Bad luck Prakash, now King won’t spare you.” That remark stayed in the Indian’s mind. He steeled himself on.
King had moved within striking distance, at 10-13. Then came a slice of luck. The shuttle nibbled the tape and fell on King’s side. One service-change later, a tap gave Prakash match point.
He still felt calm. The possibility of a win or loss hadn’t crossed his mind. He felt remarkably normal, in no hurry to finish off the point. It felt like just another day in the office.
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