In an effort to straighten out PV Sindhu's erratic form as well as steer Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth on track for Tokyo 2020, Indonesian coach Agus Dwi Santoso is poised to take over as India coach.
After parting ways with the Badminton Association of Thailand, and following talks with India's Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand, Santoso reportedly signed on for a monthly fee of $8,000 and is set to begin his stint in India by the second week of March.
Following a review of the Indian badminton national team's performance at the 2020 Olympics, his contract could be extended up to Paris 2024.
A critical juncture for Indian Olympic 2020 hopes
Agus Dwi Santoso's arrival will be at a time when star Indian badminton player PV Sindhu is experiencing a low point in her career graph. Ever since her historic World Championship gold medal last August, the world no. 6 has gone winless, reaching the finals just once in 13 outings.
PV Sindhu's drop in performance coincided with the loss of her South Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun, who left to take care of her ailing husband after guiding the 2016 Olympic silver medallist to the gold in Basel.
With the 2020 Olympics up in less than five months, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) decided to appoint Agus Dwi Santoso as their specialist singles coach.
Santoso's appointment was reportedly confirmed by Ajay Kumar Singhania, secretary-general of the BAI.
Agus Dwi Santoso’s illustrious resume
A coach of some repute, Agus Dwi Santoso is renowned for having guided fellow Indonesian Hendrawan to the gold medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asiad men's team event and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2001 Seville World Championships.
Agus then coached Budi Santoso to the All England Open 2002 finals and helped Busanan Ongbamrungphan clinch bronze medal at the Jakarta Asiad.
Under his tutelage, South Korean badminton player Son Wan-ho climbed up to no. 1 in men's singles ranking in 2017.
Santoso was Thailand's singles coach between December 2018 - February 2020, during which time Kantaphon Wangcharoen managed to become the first Thai player to win a men's singles bronze medal at the World Championships.