Agus leaves; Srikanth, Sai stranded without a coach

Kidambi Srikanth of India competes in the Men's Singles second round match against Kento Momota of Japan on day three of the Denmark Open at Odense Sports Park on October 21, 2021 in Odense, Denmark. Shi Tang/Getty Images

Agus Dwi Santoso has quit from his role as Indian men's singles coach, ESPN understands. It is reliably learnt that the Indonesian has moved out of his position and vacated his accommodation in Hyderabad. It leaves India's top two men's singles badminton players - Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth, in the middle of a swing of major tournaments traveling without a full-time coach. Agus' contract, it is understood, was to run until the end of this year.

Srikanth, who's been on a recent upswing, had to fall back on fellow Indian players to fill his coach's corner through the Hylo Open in Germany two weeks ago. At this week's Indonesia Masters he had PV Sindhu's coach Park Tae Sang assisting him during his matches. He has three more major tournaments - Indonesia Open Super 1000, World Tour Finals and the World Championships over the next couple of weeks. Sai has been weathering a torrid patch - most recently a group-stage exit at the Olympics, and two first-round losses in as many World Tour events since.

Agus joins the growing list of foreign badminton coaches in recent years who have cut short their stay in the Indian team and quit before their contract could end. Examples include singles coaches - Mulyo Handoyo and Kim Ji Hyun, and doubles coaches Flandy Limpele and Tan Kim Her.

There is speculation that Agus might be returning to the Badminton Association of Thailand's (BAT). The 56 year-old is credited for fashioning Kantaphon Wangcharoen's 2019 World Championship bronze and Son Wan Ho's climb to world No 1 in 2017 during his South Korea stint. He quit BAT and arrived in India early last year while the players were away in Birmingham for the All England Championships.

There were murmurs of Agus' strained relations with then BAT head coach and 1996 Atlanta Olympic doubles gold medalist Rexy Mainaky during his tenure. An unverified Facebook account of Mainaky had called Agus 'not professional' and 'selfish', soon after the latter left BAT. Last month however, Mainaky moved out of the Thai set-up for a deputy director of coaching role with the Badminton Association of Malaysia, clearing the path and fueling the theory of Agus' possible return to the Thai team.