World class players from India

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Re: World class players from India

Post by sameerph » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:57 am

World class is a very relative term. We can say that top 10 in the world in any sport for a reasonable period of time is world class while we can also say that in a global sport like Tennis even top 50 can be world class. What is everyone's opinion on this ?

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by rajitghosh » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:52 am

Badminton which is more limited geographically and is professionally where tennis was 2 decades back (in terms of prize money and such), that would be a consistent top 5 player.

This is a typical Western argument. Anything that is not popular in the West (read: USA) is not considered popular. If you look at badminton, it has great following in the world's 1st, 2nd and 4th highest populated countries (China, India and Indonesia) and good following all across Far East and Europe. So in terms of population following this, it is far more than say, a sport like golf and possibly even tennis. Agreed, it has less money because the US sponsors are not involved. Similarly, cricket is a far more popular sport in terms of population following compared to say, baseball, American football and even basketball.
So there is a need to separate out a global sport from a Western or American sport.
The only truly global sports are football and though many on this forum may disagree hockey and athletics. They would meet all criteria on geography, population etc. though other than football not necessarily the one on money.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by sameerph » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:15 am

Yes, Football is truly the #1 in terms of global reach. I agree about Athletics, not so much about Hockey. I think Tennis and Golf are truly global.

In global sport, we can say even top 50 is world class, in those like badminton, hockey, cricket etc, top 5 can be called world class. It is all relative. Others can give their opinion and accordingly we can classify our players as world class.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by Omkara » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:39 am

I saw Sindhu play. Her skill level and fitness level is truly exemplary. Even if all players of the world played badminton, she would have been a benchmark of a good player.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by SaniaFan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:27 am

So Okuhara is not world class either. She is out of top 5 for a.long time as well. Do we change our world class every week? These days Chen long and Lee chong wei are also not world class I guess. And Lin Dan was not world class for best of last 6 years. Including when he won Olympics!!

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Re: World class players from India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:40 am

Precisely. Someone won a bronze medal in the last month or so in the WC and we are saying she is not world class. As athletes become older, they play fewer matches and some can only peak so often. Does not mean they are not world class!

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Re: World class players from India

Post by sameerph » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:26 am

True, I think the term " World Class" needs to be used for a career span of a player. He will obviously fell down from being world class at some point of time. We cannot keep changing the " world class" list every week. That is my opinion.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:37 am

Where and when did this argument morph into world class at a given time? I think I started the argument when I stated that we have one world class player today and that is PV Sindhu. Of course, someone could have been world class at some time. But, I want to focus on the present and project into future.

And FWIW, a world class player to me means who wins 95%+ times and loses only to higher ranked players in the 5% losses. Anyone can have an occasional loss, but they don't continue to fail against a particular player, country, surface, location etc. And, they don't waste their best days sitting injured on the sidelines. Finally, they maintain their supremacy over at least 2-3 years at this level. Saina never reached world class level for me for these reasons. But, this isn't about Saina. At least she can be considered world class. I brought this term into discussion when we were discussing India's inability to join the Davis Cup world group, which is still a cruel joke for me. We are close to 25th best tennis nation at best, which is rather pitiful. Even if we reach that level, it's merely to become the whipping boys for real tennis strongholds. That we are even vying for this elite group is a direct result of top players for most countries giving Davis Cup a miss. It's a fact. Like it or not.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:52 am

Atithee wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:37 am
And FWIW, a world class player to me means who wins 95%+ times and loses only to higher ranked players in the 5% losses.
I doubt you will have any player satisfy this criterion. No tennis player would certainly.
Anyone can have an occasional loss, but they don't continue to fail against a particular player, country, surface, location etc.
By this definition, Federer is not a world-class player because he continues to fall against Nadal on clay. And, if he isn't we can make similar arguments against anyone.
And, they don't waste their best days sitting injured on the sidelines.
Tautological. Injuries are never one's best days.
Finally, they maintain their supremacy over at least 2-3 years at this level. Saina never reached world class level for me for these reasons.
Look, you can define whatever you want. But, I think you are being just extraordinarily hard. Even without being so hard, we can make the bigger point you want to make.
But, this isn't about Saina. At least she can be considered world class. I brought this term into discussion when we were discussing India's inability to join the Davis Cup world group, which is still a cruel joke for me. We are close to 25th best tennis nation at best, which is rather pitiful. Even if we reach that level, it's merely to become the whipping boys for real tennis strongholds. That we are even vying for this elite group is a direct result of top players for most countries giving Davis Cup a miss. It's a fact. Like it or not.
The part about the Davis Cup, I fully agree.

You know that fundamentally, we agree.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:06 am

If fundamentally we agree, then who am I to disagree with you? Glad that you see the bigger point. Yes, I was a bit too hard on my definition. But, Federer would be a definition of world class to me despite his losing record against Nadal. Bradman, Tiger Woods, Serena, Navaratilova, Kasparov, Jansher Khan (squash guy), maybe Muhammad Ali are some of the names I can think of at the moment who were truly world class. People who lose mostly to these are also world class.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:37 pm

I think the career win % of the Fed-Nadal-Djokovic types is around 82-83% if I recall correctly.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:38 pm

Ok, then I'll accept 85% as the yardstick, but it maybe their career stat, not after attaining a world class status. And I wouldn't count losses against each other at that level. That'd be expected. But losing to even one of these 80-90% of the time, puts an asterisk in their undisputed status.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by arjun2761 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:25 pm

You'll have to look at Gulli-danda and perhaps Kabaddi to find world class Indian players under these criteria.

Sindhu would pretty much have to win all her tournaments to meet this criteria as even losing in the finals only gives her 80% wins (4 out of 5). In the Indian context, only someone recently arrived from Mars would come up with this criteria... :D

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Re: World class players from India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:34 pm

I am finding it hard to define who is world-class using your definition.

World-class (WC): (a) Win % of 85% over players not in WC. (b) No member should have a losing record against another WC member 80% of the time.

I think you actually need to put a minimum number of matches to avoid people being kicked out for being 0-1. In tennis, I think condition (b) is not necessary. In badminton, it would kick out

Saina who is 0-5 against Jiang Yanjiao.

Jiang Yanjiao is 0-2 against Li Xuerui, 0-3 against Zhou Mi, Zhang Ning 0-5: out!

Carolina Marin 0-2 against Wang Xin, 0-1 against Pi Hongyan!

Sindhu 0-1 against Wang Lin, 0-2 against Jiang Yanjiao, 0-1 against Tine Baun, 0-2 against Julian Schenk, 1-4 against Ratchanok. Verdict: Out!

Ratchanok: 0-2 against Wang Xin, 0-1 against Zhou Mi, 0-3 against Jiang Yanjiao. Out!

Maybe there are not too many world-class players after all. What you are proposing will possibly pick a handful of the all-time greats of the game.

And, if you are putting all these players outside set WC, then achieving condition (a) would be very hard for people in the set and it will drag them out.
Last edited by prasen9 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: World class players from India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:36 pm

arjun2761 wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:25 pm
Sindhu would pretty much have to win all her tournaments to meet this criteria as even losing in the finals only gives her 80% wins (4 out of 5).
But, if the final was against a WC player, then she would get 4-4 by Atithee's definition!

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