New Delhi: Former Olympic and World champion Taufik Hidayat feels that the emergence of the phenomenally talented PV Sindhu will not only reduce the burden of expectations on Saina Nehwal but also make India a force to reckon with in women's singles category.
The 18-year-old Sindhu had won the bronze medal at the recently-concluded World Championship and Taufik said she can provide a good support to Saina in women's singles.
"I saw Sindhu quarterfinal match. But could not watch the semi-final match as I didn't have access to live telecast. I think it is good for women's singles now that Sindhu is coming up. India already has Saina and Sindhu will be a good back-up. It is good for Indian badminton," Taufik said.
The 32-year-old Indonesian feels things are changing in world badminton and China are not no longer the force it used to be across all competitions.
"Nowadays there are so many players in women's singles. But in women's doubles, China are still very strong. But I am surprised to find Lin Dan win men's singles because he didn't play for a year. But he still had the firepower be good enough to win the title."
"I think once Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei retire, the rest of the field is just so so (mediocre). These two are class players," he added.
The three-time Asian Games gold medallist, who retired from the game after the Indonesian Super Series, is back in India to be a part of the IBL.
The six-time Indonesian Open winner, said the IBL is good for Indian badminton and he wants to give something back to the game.
"It is very good for Indian badminton as foreign players are coming for the league and it will give motivation to the young local players. But for me, I have already retired from badminton after the Indonesia Open so don't expect too much from me. But I hope I can motivate the young Indian players," he said.
Asked about his team, Hyderabad Hotshots, Taufik said: "I feel great to be a part of Hyderabad. We have Saina and a few other players. Also we have a good men's doubles pair. But for me, I have already retired from badminton after the Indonesia Open so don't expect too much from me. But I hope I can motivate the young Indian players."
"I am happy when I play in India. The crowd support me a lot here. When I played in the Indian Open, I was up against Parupalli Kashyap yet many people supported me. So I will try to give my best."
On the new format of the IBL, he said: "It is a good concept. There are two men's singles but no women's doubles. India is strong in men's singles, so it is okay. I played in the China league and it is very competitive. The format there is like Sudirman Cup but here it is different. The scoring system is also something new."
Taufik won the gold in 2004 Athens Olympics and the next year he was the champion at the World Championship in Anaheim, United States.
He also won three more medals at the world championship -- a silver in 2010 Paris, a bronze in 2009 at Hyderabad and another bronze in 2001 at Seville.