Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018: Spirited India succumb to Chinese challenge
Despite their 1-3 loss to China, the Indian men can certainly hold their heads high.
The Indian men’s team produced a spirited fight against China in quarterfinals of Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 played at Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Setar, Malaysia on Friday. Kidambi Srikanth gave India the lead winning the first match in three sets.The other three Indian’s also had chances of winning but their opponents showed fighting spirit and did not allow them to do so. The Chinese clinched the tie 3-1.
Srikanth took on Shi Yuqi in the first tie. The world number 5 began the first game on a positive note with an early 6-4 lead. He reached an 11-7 lead at the interval. After the interval, the young Chinese came back strongly and equaled the score at 11-11. Shi Yuqi played with aggression and never allowed the Indian to comeback into the game and won the first set 21-14.
In the second game, both players fought for each point till 7-7. Srikanth played with lot of intensity and increased the lead to 11-8 at the interval. He looked comfortable, but the Chinese player showed fighting spirit and equaled at 16-16. The Indian showed great courage and arrested the opponent’s progress to win the second set 21-16.
In the deciding game, Srikanth played with a lot of aggression and opened up a commanding 11-5 lead at mid- game. After the interval, the Indian showed his class winning the third set 21-7 to give India 1-0 lead in the tie.
The second match of the tie saw Indian best pairing of Ranki Reddy and Chirag Shetty taking on He Jiting and Tan Qiang. It was a close fought match right from the start as both pairs fought for each point till 9-9. At the interval, the Indians had a slender lead of 11-10. After the interval, both pairs continued to fight for each point till 16-16. Finally the Chinese pair won the set 21-17.
In the second game, the 25th ranked Indian pair started on an aggressive note with an early 8-5 lead and continued to take an 11-7 lead at the interval. After that, the Chinese pair came back strongly equalling the score at 12-12. Both pairs continued to fight for each point till 18-18. Jiting and Tan Qiang took 3 points in succession to win the second set 21-18 to level the tie at 1-1.
The third match of the tie saw Singapore Open Winner Sai Praneeth taking on Qiao Bin in the singles match. Both players started with a scoreline of 2-2 and continued to fight for each point till 6-6. Sai Praneeth took 5 points in succession thereafter to take an 11-6 lead at the interval. The Indian continued his domination and won the first set 21-9 easily.
In the second game, Qiao Bin started on a good note taking an early 5-2 lead. Sai Praneeth changed the course of the game to level the score at 7-7. But the Chinese progressed thereon to take an 11-7 lead at the interval and continued to dominate on Indian player winning the second set 21-11.
In the deciding game, Sai Praneeth started on an aggressive note taking a 5-2 lead. The Chinese came back strongly to take an 11-9 lead at the interval. Sai Praneeth tried his best to comeback into the match but Qiao won the set 21-17 to give China 2-1 lead.
The fourth match saw Indian doubles pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri take on Han Chengkai and Zhou Haodong. The Chinese pair took an initial 5-3 lead. The Indian pair came back and equaled the score at 8-8. At the interval, the Indian pair led 11-9 and continued their domination to win the set 21-14.
In the second set, Attri and Reddy again took an initial 3-1 lead. It was a close fought match with both teams trying to put their country ahead. At the mid-game, Chinese led 11-9. After the interval, both pairs were vying for points to reach till 17-17. Finally, the Chinese pair won the second set 21-17 to force into the decider.
In the deciding game, Chengkai and Haodong played with an aggressive intent and reached an 11-5 lead easily by the interval. After the interval also the Chinese never gave a chance to the Indian pair, to comeback into the game winning the game 21-14 to progress into semi-finals.
The women’s team also lost their quarterfinals to Indonesia by 1-3.
Indian men’s team have qualified for the Thomas Cup through their rankings. Women’s team will be hoping to progress into Uber Cup finals tournament through rankings.