India’S Men’S Badminton Team On Cusp Of History As They Take On Indonesia In Thomas Cup Final

India is brimming with confidence and will look to surpass their weight again when they meet 14-time winners Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final on Sunday to make history once more.

Given their impressive record, defending champions Indonesia were the team to beat in this competition, but the Indian men’s side proved their strength by defeating mighty Malaysia and Denmark to reach their first final at the prestigious tournament.

It was a historic moment for the unheralded Indian team as against all odds they never lacked in confidence and showed exemplary mental toughness to bounce back twice from initial setbacks and prevail against their opponents. Ahead of the final, India will be looking to prove they have the wherewithal to pull the rug out from under their beloved rivals.

While Indonesia is relentless with an unbeaten record, India have lost just one game in the competition so far – against Chinese Taipei in the group stage. While Indonesia beat China and Japan in the knockout stages, India overtook five-time former champions Malaysia and 2016 winners Denmark.

Indian men’s badminton figureheads – Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy – have shouldered the buck with an unbeatable record of five wins, while Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the country’s top doubles pairing, held out their hands whenever chips were at stake went. The young combination of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala has proved to be a weak link but they have performed well in their defeats by Malaysia and Denmark.

The Indian think tank is likely to bring back MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila as a second doubles pair for the finals. The duo has played two round matches with one win and one loss.

World No. 9 Lakshya Sen, who was suffering from food poisoning early in the tournament, has played well at times but has failed to get off to a positive start in the last two games. On Sunday, Sen is likely to take on world No. 4 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and the Indian will draw inspiration from his recent performance against the Indonesian, whom he easily dismantled in straight matches at the German Open in March.

Srikanth is expected to meet world No. 8 Jonatan Christie, who has been in red-hot form by winning the Swiss Open title and runners-up at the Korea Open and Badminton Asia Championships. The Indian has a 4-5 record against Christie but he comes into the match having suffered losses in two close games against the Indonesian this year and would be itching to set the record straight this time.

As the match draws to a close, Prannoy, who was struggling with pain after twisting his ankle to bring the team home, will be summoned again and he is likely to be paired with world No. 24 Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. cross swords. Prannoy, currently ranked 23 in the world, has a 2-0 record against the Indonesian but has not played the youngster in five years.

“We have a fairly balanced team, the doubles contribute enormously. All the players played exceptionally well and got games out of tight situations, so I think we have a 50-50 chance against Indonesia,” said the former Indian coach Vimal Kumar is with the team, PTI said. “The playing conditions are very different here, there is a lot of drift in the hall, so players who adjust well have a better chance of success. That’s the key.

“Also there is extra pressure on Indonesia, which is an advantage for us as we have nothing to lose. We are not under pressure like the Chinese, Indonesians or Danes and that helps,” he added. Indonesia has some of the best doubles shuttles with three players from the world’s top two couples – Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan – joining their ranks in this competition.

They also have the combination of world No. 7 consisting of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto and it will be a difficult task for India to win the doubles. However, Chirag and Satwik had beaten Sukamuljo and Ahsan at the 2018 Asian Team Championships and with Danish legend Mathias Boe at their side, they will count their chances.

“Indonesia has a wide range in doubles with many players of a similar level so they can try different combinations. They’re all experienced guys and they’ve done well, but I’m hopeful,” said Vimal.

Was determined not to give up after suffering an ankle injury, says Prannoy after leading India to Thomas Cup final

He battled injury to record one of the most memorable victories of his career and Indian star shuttle HS Prannoy said the ‘don’t give up without a fight’ mentality motivated him during the epic victory over Denmark in the Thomas Cup semifinals. Prannoy put on a lion-hearted show in the deciding singles game as the Indian men’s team wrote their name in the history books by reaching the Thomas Cup final title tie for the first time with a 3-2 win over Denmark here on Friday night.

Despite picking up the injury after slipping on the return on the apron, Prannoy continued after a medical time-out to upset world No. 13 Rasmus Gemke 13-21 21-9 21-12 to secure India’s historic victory. “Mentally there were a lot of things going on in my head. After the slip it hurt more than usual and I couldn’t really swing back and I was thinking about what to do,” Prannoy said after the tie.

“It always came to my mind that I shouldn’t give up, just try and see how things go. I prayed the pain didn’t get worse and it started to lessen by the second game and by the third I was feeling a lot better.” The Indians never got past the Thomas Cup semi-finals after 1979, but on Friday they showed tremendous fighting spirit to outmaneuver the champions of 2016. Prannoy said when he stepped onto the pitch after the medical break his plan was to keep the pressure on his Danish opponent and that worked in his favour .

“The tactics we used in the second and third games were very crucial. The strategy was to keep the pressure on and I knew if I went into the second half with a good lead I had a great chance of doing that To win the game. And I just told myself to push those 11 points as far as possible and the strategy worked,” he said. World Championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth and world No. 8 doubles Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had kept India afloat in the competition by registering victories as the tie stood at 2-2 before being ceded to Prannoy to accomplish the daunting task.

Rankireddy and Shetty put on a gritty performance to beat Kim Astrup and Mathias Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20 to level India 1-1 after World Cup bronze medalist Lakshya Sen 13-21 , 13-21 had lost to world No. 1. 1 Viktor Axelsen in the opening singles. “I thought we were done when we were down in the third game. Luckily we found our rhythm. I wasn’t sure what to do (on the sixth match point). have,” said Shetty. “It took guts to attempt the flick serve. In the second game from the same side, two of our flick serves went wide.” India meets 14-time champions Indonesia in their title fight on Sunday.

Leave a Comment