Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Keeping in mind the upcoming busy international schedule for Indian shuttlers, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Thursday announced the teams for the next three tournaments after a meeting of the selection committee.
World No. 22 Sai Praneeth will spearhead the Indian challenge in Thailand in the men’s singles division and after a scintillating win in the Singapore Open last month, he will look to maintain his winning run.
Also, the tournament will see the former World No. 6 Parupalli Kashyap in action. Kashyap who returned to the international arena last month at the China Masters after a long injury lay-off had a decent outing as he managed to qualify for the pre-quarters.
In women’s singles, World No. 9 Saina Nehwal will be the cynosure of all Indian hopes. 2012 winner Saina will be eager to win her second title here.
The selection committee meeting, which took place here over Tuesday and Wednesday, reached a consensus and declared the names of the players who will travel for the upcoming tournaments starting with Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold (May 30-June 4), followed by Indonesia Open Super Series (June 12 -June 18) and Australian Open Super Series (June 20 – June 25).
The Thailand Open will also be an ideal platform for the upcoming shuttlers to show their mettle and apart from the experienced names. It will also see a host of young Indian players rubbing shoulders against some of the biggest players of the world.
Harsheel Dani, Siril Verma, Rahul Yadav, Subhankar Dey will represent the country in men’s singles, while in the women’s singles category it will be Ira Sharma, Ruthvika Shivani and Akarshi Kashyap and Rituparna Das who will be in action as well apart from Saina.
The duo of Shlok Ramachandra and M.R. Arjun will be the lone Indian pair in the men’s doubles category, while the pair of J. Meghna and Poorvisha Ram will vie it out in the women’s doubles competition.
In Indonesia Open and Australia Open, India’s hopes will rest on the duo of World No. 4 P.V. Sindhu and Saina.
Sindhu is going through a great run and after winning the India Open Super Series last month, will look to add one more title to her kitty.
In the men’s singles, World No. 13 Ajay Jayaram will lead the strong Indian contingent along with 2017 Singapore Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth, H.S Prannoy, Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma and Kashyap. Ashwini Ponappa and Sikki Reddy will be the lone Indian pair in the women’s doubles competition.
The team of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy and Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa will feature in the mixed doubles action.
“We have announced the team in advance so that the players can plan their travel properly and have ample time to prepare better both physically and mentally for the tournaments,” Honorary General Secretary and official spokesperson of BAI Anup Narang said.