The Indian Badminton will face a tough ask when they are going to compete in the Sudirman Cup 2015, starting from today in Dongguan, China. This 25 year old biennial event named after Indonesian great Badminton player Dick Sudirman. This is a mixed team event where in each country has to field one men’s single, one women’s single player and three doubles teams (men, women and mixed) to compete within their group to reach quarter finals. There are four groups (numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4) finals. The first group has been further divided into 4 sub-groups identified as 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D. There are twelve countries in group 1 and India is grouped with Malaysia and Korea in 1D. Other Countries from Groups 2, 3 and
Indian contingent includes single players like world number one Saina Nehwal, World number 10 P.V. Sindhu. In the men’s category India has players like K Srikanth along with P Kashyap which makes them fairly strong. However our doubles pair doesn’t find any place among the world pairs ranking. In the women’s doubles section Ashwini Ponappa Jwala Gutta, P Gadre and N Sikki Reddy are participating in the tournament. In men’s doubles Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy lead while Pranav Chopra and Akshay Dewlkar form second team. In the mixed doubles the pair of Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan will participate in the event.
As far as singles is concerned India has the best chance of beating the opponents. In men’s singles Kashyap and Srikanth can beat any player on their day. Similalry Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu carry the Indian hopes in women’s singles. We do not have the same confidence or comfort in any doubles pair.
I hope India would qualify to the quarter finals stage. Beyond that the doubles pairs have to play exceptionally well and contribute their might. Wining in one doubles event is mandatory and another back-up in case any single player fails to win on a given day.
It is one of the prestigious tournaments in badminton where China has won the title 9 times which shows the power of Chinese badminton. Fortunately India is not meeting them until quarterfinals at least. The other teams which have won this cup include Indonesia and South Korea.
The Indian team will face Malaysia in their first match on Monday 11 May 2015.