All England Championships 2021: Can the Indian contingent produce their best ever performance?

India's 3 main Hopes at the All England Championships 2021
India's 3 main hopes at the All England Championships 2021

The prestigious All England Badminton Championships 2021 will be held in Birmingham, England from 17th March till 21st March 2021.

With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics just a few months away, all badminton lovers in India will be keen to see where the Indian contingent stands and how they perform in this year's All England Championship.

The last time an Indian won this event was in 2001, when Pullela Gopichand managed to come out victorious and make the nation proud. P Gopichand and the legendary Prakash Padukone (1980) are the only two Indian shuttlers who have managed to win the All England Championship.

No Indian female shuttler has won the All England Championship, with Saina Nehwal coming closest with a runners-up finish in 2015.

India's Performance in the Last Few Editions of the Tournament

India's Saina Nehwal
India's Saina Nehwal

The All England Badminton Championships have been quite unproductive for the current era of Indian greats like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, K Srikanth and Sai Praneeth. They have come close, but have been unable to win the tournament.

The performance of the Indian badminton contingent has been dismal in the last two editions of the All England Championship, with all of them crashing out in the initial rounds.

None of the Indian stars even managed to reach the last four in their respective disciplines.

Indian badminton fans will be hoping that the country's shuttlers bring out their best game at this year's tournament and end the 20-year-long wait for an All England title.

Indian Contingent for this Year's Championship

The Indian Badminton Contingent
The Indian Badminton Contingent

Like the last few years, this year too, the Indian contingent will be led by PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth in the women's and men's singles respectively.

Alongside PV Sindhu (World No 7), the women's singles will also feature veteran Saina Nehwal (World No 19), a former runners-up at this tournament.

In the men's singles, India will have a strong contingent of 6 shuttlers, viz. H.S Prannoy, Sameer Verma, Lakshya Sen, P Kashyap, Sai Praneeth and K Srikanth.

In the doubles event, India will be represented by 8 pairs - two in the men's, three in the women's and three in the mixed doubles section. The 6th seeded men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chiraj Shetty, who are presently ranked 10th in the world, will hope to bring home India's first medal in the men's doubles event.

With such a large and strong contingent list, the Indian team will be hoping to put up a better show than last year, and win some medals.

Indian players' chances in the various categories

The draw for this year's All England Championships has already been declared. Based on the draw and the current form of the players, we try and analyze India's chances in the various categories.

Men's Singles

HS Pranoy and K Srikanth
HS Pranoy and K Srikanth

With none of the Indian men's singles players except K Srikanth (seeded 8th) being seeded in the All England tournament, the road ahead seems tough. They will all have to face higher-ranked opponents in their initial rounds.

P Kashyap has to face world No 1 Kento Momota of Japan in his very first round while Sai Praneeth is most likely to face world No 2 Victor Alexsen of Denmark in the 2nd round.

However, if the men's singles players can pull off an upset or two in their initial rounds, they do have the talent to go the distance and win the tournament.

Women's Singles

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal: India's two best hopes
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal: India's two best hopes

In the women's singles section, the poster girls of Indian badminton, Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be in action. Both have got relatively easy draws and will not have to face any of the top female shuttlers in their initial rounds.

But if they are aiming to win the elusive All England Women's title, then they have to be at the top of their game.


The sensational pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chiraj Shetty
The sensational pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chiraj Shetty

The sensational men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chiraj Shetty will go into this tournament as one of the dark horses. If they are able to replicate their recent Swiss and Thailand Open form, then they will definitely be one of the contenders to win the All England title.

The experienced duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy in women's doubles, and Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in mixed doubles, can also cause an upset or two and progress to the latter half of the tournament.

Expecting a medal from the other five Indian pairs who are also participating in the various doubles and mixed doubles categories will be unrealistic.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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