20 Famous Badminton Players in India with Rankings and Career Statistics

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 of the 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 20 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 managed to win several tournaments and recorded her name in the list of famous badminton players in India. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the team of badminton Indian 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 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 have won a medal in badminton at the Olympics. No wonder that she is one among the 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 managed to win his first national-level title in the year 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 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. He earned his first major international title in 1978 after winning gold at the Edmonton Commonwealth. 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 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 Bronze medal at 2016 Asia Team Championships
  • Won Gold medal at 2016 South Asian Games

Srikanth Kidambi’s Career Overview:

Hailing from Ravulapalem district of Andhra Pradesh, Kidambi is a leading name in the list of famous badminton players in India. In fact, his extraordinary feats in the global arena earned him the world No. 1 spot as recent as 2018. He took the sporting media by surprise 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 is beyond comparison. To date, he has received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for establishing the 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 to be 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 lies no doubt that he secures a post in 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 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 interesting 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 in the Padukone Academy, thereby honing his badminton skills. Kashyap reached the 2012 London Olympics Quarterfinals and earned the distinction of being 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 the year 2005, she received the Arjuna Award for being one of the most famous badminton players in India. 

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 are sure to find Sameer ensuring success for India. The world recognizes him as one of the best badminton players from India. He trained in 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 built his name in recent times. Holding 10 International titles, Satwik has become one of the most famous badminton players in India. He showcases his shuttling skills in Mixed and Men’s doubles and persistently appears in the world rankings. He has also fixated his spot in the list of 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 the most famous badminton players of India in the 21st century, Praneeth uplifted the stature of the game. He holds the record of being 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 badminton arena in women’s doubles discipline. Her smashes have always wowed the crowd and consistency doted on by some of the top badminton players in India. The duo went on to win medals at the prestigious tournaments like the Uber Cup and Asian Badminton Championships. Her list of records is enough to put her up 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 the 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 the 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 a story of its own. He is a four-time national champion and three-time South Asian Games men’s singles champion. Although he has suffered through an ankle injury for long, his determination is rock solid. Chetan is among the top Indian badminton players who have held up the nation’s pride at various International arenas. He received the Arjuna Award in the year 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:

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 up 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 won bronze and gold for India at the Para Asian Games and Para BWC recently.

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 in playing badminton, then they have 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 in the list of top badminton players in India during her playing years. She has received the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for her contributions.

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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