25 Famous Badminton Players in India with Rankings and Career Statistics

Top 10 Badminton Women's Single...
Top 10 Badminton Women's Singles Ranking History (2012-2020)

A game named after a country estate in England, Badminton was seen as an aristocratic recreational activity. However, the game took turns in army trenches and local events and soon became a popular sport by the end of the 19th century. Unsurprisingly, India is considered one of the origin countries of the sport. In many Indian army stations, British officials often played badminton to remain fit. We always knew the game as we witnessed its birth and childhood days. We will have a look at the famous badminton players in India.

Best Badminton Players in India

As soon as Indian palms took a grip on its political governance, many famous badminton players of India gripped their rackets. We take this golden opportunity to reminisce about the glory of a few top badminton players in India. These badminton players from India showcased their shuttling skills in the world arena and held the Indian flag up high. Today, we salute some of the famous badminton players in India who took the shuttling world by surprise! 

Table of Contents

Here are 25 famous badminton players in India:

1. P.V. Sindhu

badminton players in India P.V. Sindhu

P.V. Sindhu’s Best Ranking: 2 (Year 2017)

P.V. Sindhu’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Silver medal at 2016 Rio Olympics
  • also Won Gold medal at 2019 World Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games

P.V. Sindhu’s Career Overview:

Born to national-level volleyball players, Sindhu has always been a sports enthusiast. However, she chose badminton as her guide to life after drawing inspiration from Pullela Gopichand, the former Indian badminton player. By the time she completed seven years in her professional career, she had won several tournaments and recorded her name in the list of famous badminton players in India. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the team of Indian badminton players was recognized by her name. She held up the pride of our nation by clinching the silver medal at the women’s singles. Sindhu defeated the best players around the world to become the first Indian to win the BWF Championship. She has received the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Bhushan for her contributions to badminton. 

2. Saina Nehwal

Best badminton players in India Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal’s Best Ranking: 1 (Year 2015)

Saina Nehwal’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Bronze medal at 2012 London Olympics
  • also Won a Bronze medal at 2017 World Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games

Saina Nehwal’s Career Overview:

Talking of badminton players from India, everybody is sure enough that the name Saina Nehwal will pop up! She holds the distinction of winning at least one medal in every major badminton event. Saina is the first Indian to win two singles medals in the Commonwealth Games. She is also the first Indian to win a badminton medal at the Olympics. No wonder she is one of the most famous badminton players in India. She has received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award for her exceptional contributions. Saina maintains a position in the chart of top badminton players in India. 

3. Pullela Gopichand

badminton players in India Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand’s Best Ranking: 5 (Year 2001)

Pullela Gopichand’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2001 All England Open Badminton Championships
  • Won Bronze medal at 1998 Commonwealth Games

Pullela Gopichand’s Career Overview:

The current Chief Coach of the Indian Badminton team was also a terrific shuttler in his days. Many famous badminton players in India have trained under his guidance and gained worldwide fame. Amazing records were set by Gopichand in his playing days. He won his first national-level title in 1996 and continued the spree for the next five years. By the turn of the 21st century, badminton had become a popular sport in India and a major credit went to him. He has won laurels for his significant contributions to the sport. He has received the Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, and Padma Bhushan.

4. Prakash Padukone

badminton players in India Prakash Padukone

Prakash Padukone’s Best Ranking: 1 (Year 1980)

Prakash Padukone’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 1981 World Cup
  • also Won a Gold medal at 1980 All England Open Badminton Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 1978 Commonwealth Games

Prakash Padukone’s Career Overview:

Read Touch Play to learn the exploits of Prakash Padukone, the pioneer of Indian badminton. A legend in his own right, Prakash held up the Indian flag when the sport hardly received any Indian audience. After winning gold at the Edmonton Commonwealth, he earned his first major international title in 1978. Prakash played in an aggressive style and seemed to dominate every other counterpart. He continued the legacy by training some of the best badminton players from India. Prakash co-founded Olympic Gold Quest to promote badminton as an Olympic sport. His achievements mark the honors of the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri. He still stands as one of the most famous badminton players in India.  

5. Srikanth Kidambi

badminton players in India Srikanth Kidambi

Srikanth Kidambi’s Best Ranking: 1 (Year 2018)

Srikanth Kidambi’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won a Bronze medal at 2016 Asia Team Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2016 South Asian Games

Srikanth Kidambi’s Career Overview:

Hailing from the Ravulapalem district of Andhra Pradesh, Kidambi is a leading name in the list of famous badminton players in India. His extraordinary feats in the global arena earned him the world’s No. 1 spot as recently as 2018. He surprised the sporting media as he smashed his way through the badminton legends of the world. Kidambi is a high-spirited sportsman who stops at nothing. His wrist movement and body flow on the court are beyond comparison. To date, he has received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for establishing Indian fame at International venues.

6. Jwala Gutta

famous badminton players in India Jwala Gutta

Jwala Gutta’s Best Ranking: 6 (XD- Year 2010)
10 (WD- Year 2015)

Jwala Gutta’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Bronze medal at 2011 World Championships
  • also Won Gold medal at 2010 Commonwealth Games
  • Won Gold medal at 2006 South Asian Games

Jwala Gutta’s Career Overview:

Jwala’s aggressive stance at the frontcourt makes her as fiery as she sounds. She always stood out as one of the top badminton players in India. Beginning to play at the tender age of six under the coaching of S.M. Arif, Jwala was set to become a fantastic shuttler. She went on to create her legacy in the doubles matches. At the peak of her career, Jwala won fourteen national championships and still maintains a record of 316 match wins. Best known for her left-hand stroke play, Jwala often found special mentions among the most inspiring sportswomen of India. She has received the Arjuna Award for her incredible performances at various arenas.

7. Prannoy Kumar

badminton players in India Prannoy Kumar

Prannoy Kumar’s Best Ranking: 8 (Year 2018)

Prannoy Kumar’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won Bronze medal at 2018 Asian Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2016 South Asian Games

Prannoy Kumar’s Career Overview:

The silver medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics propelled Prannoy to unparalleled fame in the domestic media. Such a glorious celebration led him on a path of pure dedication and shuttling charisma. Many find him the National No. 2 after Srikant, and he is growing ambitious by the day. He is an Indian badminton player who has chosen his path to success. He holds 3 BWF Grand Prix titles and one at the BWF International series. There is no doubt that he secures a post on the list of famous badminton players in India. 

8. Syed Modi

badminton players in India Syed Modi

Syed Modi’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 1982 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won the Austrian International title in 1984
  • Won USSR International title in 1985

Syed Modi’s Career Overview:

Whenever this name comes up, an awkward silence surrounds the atmosphere. The exciting story of Syed started when his surname was mistakenly recorded as ‘Modi’ instead of ‘Mehdi’. A star sportsman since his schooldays, Syed rose from the dirty streets to celebrity limelights. In his outstanding career, he won three International titles, playing men’s singles badminton. Unfortunately, he became a victim of political controversy and met a horrific end. He was shot dead after a practice session in Lucknow. Admirers mourned worldwide as India lost its budding talent. Even after forceful attempts to erase his memory, the badminton courts of India never let him die. A badminton tournament was instituted in his name, which is now the prestigious Syed Modi International.

9. Parupalli Kashyap

badminton players in India Parupalli Kashyap

Parupalli Kashyap’s Best Ranking: 6 (Year 2013)

Parupalli Kashyap’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Silver medal at 2016 Asia Team Championships
  • also Won Gold medal at 2014 Commonwealth Games
  • Won Bronze medal at 2010 Commonwealth Games

Parupalli Kashyap’s Career Overview:

Rising from the critical illness of Asthma, Kashyap’s struggle inspired a following of his own. He trained under S.M. Arif and then at the Padukone Academy, thereby honing his badminton skills. Kashyap reached the 2012 London Olympics Quarterfinals and was the first Indian male to achieve the feat. He managed to win gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and soon became a youth badminton icon. He received the Arjuna Award early in the year 2012. 

10. Aparna Popat

Best badminton players in India Aparna Popat

Aparna Popat’s Best Ranking: 16 (Year 1997)

Aparna Popat’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Silver medal at 1998 Commonwealth Games
  • Won Bronze medal at 2002 Commonwealth Games

Aparna Popat’s Career Overview:

Winning nine consecutive senior national titles from 1997 to 2006, Aparna recorded history with her racket. Anil Pradhan, the former Indian badminton player, noticed a spark in an eight-year-old Aparna and trained her. She grew up to become a star! She represented India on many occasions. Aparna secured a prestigious spot in the Global Sports Mentoring Programme. In 2005, she received the Arjuna Award for being one of India’s most famous badminton players. 

11. Sameer Verma

badminton players in India Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma’s Best Ranking: 11 (Year 2019)

Sameer Verma’s Career Achievements:

  • Won 2018 Syed Modi International
  • also Won Bronze medal at 2011 World Junior Championships
  • Won Bronze medal at 2012 Asia Junior Championships

Sameer Verma’s Career Overview:

If you switch on a channel to watch badminton, you will find Sameer ensuring India’s success. The world recognizes him as one of the best badminton players from India. He trained at the Gopichand Badminton Academy and achieved his best feat yet, winning the Syed Modi Grand Prix. He is ranked among the top badminton players in India. Sameer has the potential to take both his name and game ahead of himself. 

12. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

badminton players in India Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s Best Ranking: 7 (MD- Year 2019)
21 (XD- Year 2018)

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • Won Bronze medal at 2020 Asia Team Championships

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s Career Overview:

Hailing from Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, Satwik has recently built his name. Holding 10 International titles, Satwik has become one of India’s most famous badminton players. He showcases his shuttling skills in Mixed and Men’s doubles and persistently appears in the world rankings. He has also fixated on his spot among the top badminton players in India.

13. B. Sai Praneeth

famous badminton players in India B. Sai Praneeth

B. Sai Praneeth’s Best Ranking: 10 (Year 2019)

B. Sai Praneeth’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Bronze medal at 2019 BWF World Championships
  • also Won Bronze medal at 2016 Asia Team Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2016 South Asian Games

B. Sai Praneeth’s Career Overview:

Considered one of India’s most famous badminton players in the 21st century, Praneeth uplifted the game’s stature. He is the first male in 36 years to clinch a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in 2019. Praneeth is a rising star who trains under the star coach Gopichand and is set to become the next big name among the famous badminton players of India. He also received the Arjuna Award last year for this exceptional feat.

14. Ashwini Ponnappa

Best badminton players in India Ashwini Ponnappa

Ashwini Ponnappa’s Best Ranking: 10 (WD- Year 2015)
21 (XD- Year 2018)

Ashiwini Ponnappa’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won Bronze medal at 2016 Uber Cup
  • Won Gold medal at 2010 South Asian Games

Ashiwini Ponnappa’s Career Overview:

Ponnappa is best known for pairing up with Jwala Gutta to dominate the world’s badminton arena in women’s doubles discipline. Her smashes have always wowed the crowd and her consistency has been doted on by some of the top badminton players in India. The duo went on to win medals at prestigious tournaments like the Uber Cup and Asian Badminton Championships. Her list of records is enough to put her up on the chart of most famous badminton players in India.

15. N. Sikki Reddy

Best badminton players in India N. Sikki Reddy

N. Sikki Reddy’s Best Ranking: 17 (WD- Year 2019)
13 (XD- Year 2017)

N. Sikki Reddy’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won Gold at 2019 South Asian Games
  • Won Bronze medal at 2016 Uber Cup

N. Sikki Reddy’s Career Overview:

A leading Indian badminton player, Sikki plays extraordinary strokes in doubles and mixed doubles matches. Her exceptional gameplay at the last South Asian Games left the audience awestruck. Sikki’s best duo partner has to be Pranav Chopra, another Indian player with whom she has won many titles. After watching her play, everybody is sure that Indian badminton is only going up shortly. 

16. Chetan Anand

famous badminton players in India Chetan Anand

Chetan Anand’s Best Ranking: 10 (Year 2009)

Chetan Anand’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Silver medal at 2010 Commonwealth Games
  • also Won Gold medal at 2010 South Asian Games
  • Won Gold medal at 2006 South Asian Games

Chetan Anand’s Career Overview:

A  media figure and by far one of the most famous badminton players in India, Chetan’s racket tells its own story. He is a four-time national and three-time South Asian Games men’s singles champion. Although he has suffered an ankle injury for a long, his determination is rock solid. Chetan is among the top Indian badminton players who have held up the nation’s pride in various International arenas. He received the Arjuna Award in 2006, at the peak of his career.

17. Manasi Girishchandra Joshi

Best badminton players in India Manasi Girishchandra Joshi

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi’s Best Ranking: 2 (Year 2019)

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi’s Career Achievements:

  • Won 2019 Para-Badminton BWF World Championships
  • also Won Bronze medal at 2018 Asian Para Games
  • Won Bronze medal at 2016 Asian Championships

Manasi Girishchandra Joshi’s Career Overview:

She started playing badminton at the tender age of six; Manasi’s fondness for the sport made her one of the most famous badminton players in India. She is a para-badminton legend who holds the Indian flag at the most competitive events. Manasi has played both singles and doubles in her career and her sheer willpower has served as a source of inspiration. She recently won bronze and gold for India at the Para Asian Games and Para BWC.

18. Nandu M. Natekar

Best badminton players in India Nandu M. Natekar

Nandu Natekar’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at Selangor International Tournament in 1956
  • Won mixed doubles title at King’s Cup International Tournament in 1962

Nandu Natekar’s Career Overview:

The first Indian to win a title abroad is none other than Nandu Natekar. In his 15 years of professional career, Nandu managed to win over 100 International titles for his country. He has 17 national championships to his credit in three different disciplines. Nandu’s shuttling charisma posted him at the top among the most famous players of India in his time. He was the first recipient of the Arjuna Award in 1961. He was also voted the most popular sportsperson in the same year. 

19. Dinesh Khanna

famous badminton players in India Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at 1965 Asian Championships
  • Won Bronze medal at 1966 Commonwealth Games

Dinesh Khanna’s Career Overview:

Former Indian badminton player Dinesh Khanna led the Indian name overseas to the badminton arenas. On becoming the Asian singles champion in 1965, Dinesh became the first Indian to hold an Asian badminton title. He went on to make several records and received the Arjuna Award in 1965 for his exemplary contributions.

20. Madhumita Bisht

Best badminton players in India Madhumita Bisht

Madhumita Bisht’s Best Ranking: 28 (Year 1992)

Madhumita Bisht’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Bronze medal at 1998 Asian Games
  • Won Triple Crown at Toulouse Open

Madhumita Bisht’s Career Overview:

If somebody told you girls are the best at playing badminton, they probably lived during the Madhu era! Eight-time singles champion, nine-time doubles champion and twelve-time mixed doubles champion; there’s nothing left to be said. A legendary Indian badminton player, Madhu made such unbreakable records that anybody can hardly imagine. She always remained on the list of top badminton players in India during her playing years. She has received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for her contributions.

21. V. Diju

V. Diju’s Best Ranking: 7 (Year 2010)

V. Diju’s Career Achievements:

  •  Valiyaveetil Diju earned the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

V. Diju’s Career Overview:

Indian badminton player Valiyaveetil Diju, popularly known as V. Diju, was born on January 4th, 1981 in Kozhikode, Kerala. Six National Championships titles were won by him, including one in men’s doubles and five in mixed doubles. As the first Indian player to compete in the Olympics, he represented India at the 2012 London Olympics in mixed doubles with Jwala Gutta. He received the 2014 Arjuna Award, granted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Indian government in honor of his remarkable performance in National sports. Additionally, he has received the G. V. Raja Award, Kerala’s highest government-level honor for athletes. He received the 2014 Jimmy George Award.

Diju’s international career began in 1997 when he competed for India in the Asian Junior Badminton Championship in Hong Kong. He and Sanave Thomas defeated Jaseel P. Ismail and Jaison Xavier in four games to win the men’s doubles championship in the Indian National Championships in 2002. Together with Jwala Gutta, he won the 2008 Bitburger Open in Germany. India has won the mixed doubles Grand Prix for the first time. Diju has won the national mixed-doubles title five times. He took home the bronze medal for the mixed team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Diju-Gutta duo finished second at the 2009 Indian Open in Hyderabad. In the final, they were defeated by Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa of Indonesia.

22. Priyanshu Rajawat

Priyanshu Rajawat’s Best Ranking: 85 (Year 2022)

Priyanshu Rajawat’s Career Achievements:

  • Won Gold medal at the Thomas Cup 

Priyanshu Rajawat’s Career Overview:

The 20-year-old Rajawat had defeated another rising star, Ravi, the day before to get a date with George, his rival from the Odisha Open finals. Priyanshu had admitted to The Bridge that he was still a little depressed over his defeat against George at the Super 100 competition in January. “Last time, Kiran and I had a loss. So I will do my hardest to prevent it from happening by doing everything I can.” And guarantee it is that he did, going on to show off his skills in a dramatic, 58-minute three-set match before Rajawat grabbed control and won, 21-15, 18-21, 21-10, raising a jubilant fist in the air.

23. Chirag Shetty

Chirag Shetty’s Best Ranking: 7 (Year 2019)

Chirag Shetty’s Career Achievements:

  • Gold: 2018, Gold Coast: Mixed Team
  • Silver: 2018, Gold Coast: Men’s Doubles

Chirag Shetty’s Career Overview:

Chirag Shetty was born in Mumbai, India, on July 4, 1997. Chandrashekhar Shetty and Sujata Shetty were his parents. Chandrashekhar has encouraged both of his children to pursue their careers in any particular sport, unlike normal Indian parents who push their kids towards particular professions. Arya Shetty, Chirag’s sister, is a badminton player. Arya is presently receiving instruction at the Uday Pawar Academy and is prepared to launch a career of a double. Throughout his quest, Chirag’s father provided him with unwavering support. Chandrashekhar wanted Chirag to participate in solo sports because he thought team sports entailed a lot of variables, including politics. Chirag, however, disproved his father’s assertions by succeeding in every aspect of team sports.

Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty, an outstanding badminton player from India, specializes in men’s doubles and mixed teams. Chirag has displayed some outstanding performances and achieved a lot, thanks to Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. At the Thailand Open, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy became the first Indian men’s pair to win a Super 500 championship. Chirag Shetty attends the Gopichand Badminton Academy.

Chirag Shetty decided to pursue his father’s goal by playing badminton. The father of Chirag has always wanted to see his son compete in the Commonwealth Games. The child put in a lot of effort and consistently gave his best effort, which enabled him to win several medals in tournaments held both domestically and abroad. Markis Kido and Hendra Gunawan, previous world and Olympic champions, were defeated by him and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. They successfully qualified for the Glasgow World Championship as well.

24. Dhrub Kapila

Dhrub Kapila’s Best Ranking: 35 (MD-Year 2022)

Dhrub Kapila’s Career Achievements:

  • Gold medalists at the 2019 South Asian Games in the men’s doubles

Dhrub Kapila’s Career Overview:

Dhruv Kapila, an Indian badminton player who competes internationally, was born on February 1st, 2000. He is now a member of the men’s and mixed doubles teams. Dhruv won gold in the men’s and mixed doubles competitions at the 2019 South Asian Games. He has competed for India in several national and international badminton competitions.

Won a silver medal in the men’s doubles competition at the 2016 Mauritius International partnering Saurabh Sharma.
A gold medal in the men’s doubles competition at the 2018 Kharkiv International partnering with Krishna Prasad Garaga.
In men’s doubles with Krishna Prasad Garaga and mixed doubles with Meghana Jakkampudi, Dhruv won two gold medals at the 2019 South Asian Games.
Dhruv won two silver medals at the 2019 Nepal International & 2019 Bangladesh International in the men’s doubles team, with Arjun M.R. a bronze medal in the men’s team competition for the 2020 Asia Team. Competitions are conducted in Manila.

25. Krishna Prasad Garaga

Krishna Prasad Garaga’s Best Ranking: 19 (MD-Year 2022)

Krishna Prasad Garaga’s Career Achievements:

  • won the silver medal in men’s doubles

Krishna Prasad Garaga’s Career Overview:

Hyderabad-born badminton players have been making waves on the world stage for many years. And most recently, elite French players were defeated by 17-year-old badminton players Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila to win the silver medal in men’s doubles at the Yonex Dutch Junior Open in Harlem, Netherlands. Unlike Krishna Prasad, who is from Kakinada, Dhruv is from Ludhiana. The two have been practicing together at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in the city for many years.

The third-ranked junior doubles player in the world, Krishna Prasad, recently won two gold medals at the junior national championship: one in men’s doubles and one in mixed doubles. He won a bronze medal in the senior national competition in December. Since I started playing eight years ago, badminton. My father, G. Gangadharam, competed in the sport at the collegiate level, and he encouraged me to surpass him. Both of my parents have been my support system, adds Prasad, who continues, “He started teaching me from an early age. I excelled academically, but they never objected when I informed them that I wanted to play badminton professionally. Since there isn’t an academy in Kakinada, my father brought me to Hyderabad to look for one. In the beginning, I had frequent homesickness, but I eventually got over it. My second home, Hyderabad, has been lovely. I’ve been living away from my parents for years, and I miss them. They occasionally come and see me play in competitions. It’s been incredibly difficult.

Here we are with the list of famous badminton players in India. Please comment below your favorites. Have we missed any? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Debojeet Chakravarty

I'm a first year grad student and have been exposed to the world of writing for over two years now. Though I'm new to the professional field of writing, I'm confident of finding myself in a suitable position that complements my style, very soon enough.

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