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India on brink of creating history; takes on formidable Indonesia in Thomas Cup final

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Bangkok: The mood in the Indian badminton camp is upbeat after a historic victory against Denmark in the semifinals being played in Bangkok. India’s next and last opponent before winning the historic title is Indonesia, a 14-time winner of this prestigious trophy. The grand finale is scheduled to take place on Sunday. Indian shuttlers have a golden opportunity to write history in badminton.

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The Indian men’s team has shown its courage and the attitude to fight till the end, which brought victories against two powerhouses of badminton, Malaysia and Denmark, to reach their first-ever final at the Thomas Cup.

India has nothing to lose in the final because winning against Indonesia is a herculean task for any opponent. In this Thomas Cup, India fancied its opponents and pulled the rugs from their feet.

The record of Indonesia is remarkable in this tournament so far. The pressure of the final will certainly tell a different story.

The poster boys of men’s badminton — Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy — have left no stone unturned and are ready to take loads on their shoulders with a record of five wins, while the country’s best doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty always play above their potential and try to keep the heads of the team up.

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The Indian team management is expected to make a slight change in the double pair. They may think of bringing in MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila as the second doubles pair for the final.

The form of world number nine Lakshya Sen will be crucial for the Indian team. If he plays his natural game, then India’s chances would be bright. He has played well in patches, but lacks consistency. There is no margin of error in tomorrow’s all-important final against Indonesia.

Sen is expected to meet with world number 4 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting on Sunday.

Srikanth is likely to take off against world number eight Jonatan Christie, who has been in commendable form with a title win at the Swiss Open and runners-up finishes at the Korea Open and Badminton Asia Championships. A lot will depend on Prannoy’s form. .

We have a balanced team. The doubles are contributing immensely. “All the players have played exceptionally well and pulled out matches from close situations. So I feel we have a 50-50 chance against Indonesia, “former India coach Vimal Kumar, who is with the team, said.

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Also, there is added 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 Danish, and that helps, “he added.

“Indonesia has a lot of choices in doubles with many players of similar levels, so they can try out different combinations. “They are all experienced guys and have done well, but I am hopeful,” Vimal said.

The final is likely to go to the wire. Watch some breathtaking battles on the badminton court between India and Indonesia.

Wasim Haque

 

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