World Badminton Championships 2017: Ajay Jayaram faces uphill task to beat inconsistency at grand event

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After setting the stage alight in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) in January, Jayaram has been fighting to maintain consistency at Badminton World Federation (BWF) events. A string of subpar performances after PBL has become a bit of a concern for the 29-year-old. Despite the ups and downs in a strange year, Jayaram has made sure to remain in the top 20 of the BWF rankings.

The only positive for the Chennai-born lad was achieving his career-best ranking of number 13 earlier in April this year. Also, in the upcoming World Championships in Scotland, India’s second highest-ranked men’s player, has an uphill task of sweeping aside inconsistency and break into the top 10 for the first time.

In spite of hardly any notable achievements in big events this year, there is absolutely no doubt about his abilities when he takes the court. A gritty display against Danish ace Viktor Axelsen in Malaysia and a splendid PBL season, in which he defeated some of his fancied rivals such as Kidambi Srikanth, Axelsen, Jan O Jorgensen with his wrist wizardry from the net, should suffice to make him a genuine threat in a fast-paced game.

He has a few other titles to his name but those have come at the International Challenge tournaments, where the level of competition is low as compared to Grand Prix Gold or Super series tournaments. However, the 2008 Waikato International and the North Shore City International was the beginning for the explosive shuttler who showed great courage and skills to announce him on the international circuit. After a gap of two years, it was in the 2010 Czech International tournament and the Smiling Fish International that he proved his worth and saw an exponential rise in the rankings.

At the World Championships, Jayaram’s sole task should be to remain consistent and put up a good show, having recovered from injuries. The fit-again shuttler will have his task cut out despite an easy first hurdle. There’s a possibility of him boosting his position in the rankings considering the World Championships carry the maximum number of ranking points in the sport.

 

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