Mumbai: The disappointment of finishing as runners-up notwithstanding, Awadhe Warriors' shuttler K Srikanth said he goes home a richer player from the inaugural Indian Badminton League after getting some valuable lessons of the game from seasoned international stars.
"IBL is a great thing to happen. Badminton has been on the rise. You learn a lot when you have senior players in your team. My team I have (Mathias) Boe and (Markis) Kido, so there is lot to learn from them. The way to start and end, the way to behave yourself on court, mental strength," Srikanth told reporters on Saturday night.
The Warriors finished as the runners-up in the inaugural edition of the IBL and Srikanth, who had provided his team with 1-0 lead, said Lucknow was banking on the men's doubles game and the second men's single match, which didn't work out to their plan.
"Actually we thought we could get the doubles, so that was the first drawback for us. Then Guru's match with Ajay, those two matches were crucial for us. It was some kind of focus (issue) in the second game. He (R M V Gurusaidutt) was actually leading 17-14 in the second," he said.
Gurusaidutt looked poised to win his match by winning the first game comfortably and leading in the second game before Ajay Jayaram's remarkable turnaround. Jayaram, ranked 24th in the world, beat 20th ranked Guru 10-21, 21-17, 11-7 in 52 minutes.
The Warriors men's double pair of Boe and Kido lost to the Malaysian men's doubles team of Goh Shem and Wah Lim Khim 14-21, 21-13, 4-11.
The world number 38 Srikanth shocked his Thai rival Tanongsak (Saensomboonsuk), ranked 19 places above him in the world, with a 21-12, 21-20 victory and said he wanted to provide his team with a good start.
"Throughout the tournament I had been performing well, so I just wanted my team to a get good start and got it," he said.
On his net game, the 20-year-old said, "He was a bit stronger than me at the nets I guess. I just wanted to attack him from the backhand side."
The Guntur-born player said winning the Thailand Open in June helped him gain confidence.
"It gave me a lot of confidence. It improved my mental strength and I gained a lot from that," said Srikanth.
He further said he will be participating in the Japan Super Series next.