Commonwealth Games 2018: Know your opponents - Who could upset India in badminton
An assessment of the challengers who could upset India's badminton party in the Commonwealth Games.
Until a few years back, Indian badminton was all about one Saina Nehwal. But today, it's almost like that definition has ceased to exist.
Today India has not one, not two but several stars in the field. From Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu to World No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth, from the vastly experienced Saina to 17-year-old youngster Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, India's badminton pool is one of the bests in the world. And at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the 10-member contingent is quite obviously the strongest.
While the expectations are high, as Sindhu said, competition-wise, the Commonwealth Games are not as easy as people generally think.
Here, we will take a look at who can challenge the Indian shuttlers in Gold Coast in the three different events.
Mixed Team Event
Being the top seeds, India are, of course, favourites in the mixed team event, which will kickoff the badminton schedule in Gold Coast.
In the group stage, they have been pooled alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland. Of them, realistically, only Scotland can give some competition to the Indian shuttlers. Kristy Gilmour, 2014 Glasgow Games silver medallist, will be headlining Scotland's charge, while men's doubles pair of Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall will look to cause an upset or two. However, India should not have any problem whatsoever in breezing past them.
Looking at the other teams, second seeds Malaysia are the only country who have the arsenal to beat India in the mixed team event while Canada are the dark horse. Having bagged the gold medal from the team event in the last three editions of the CWG, Malaysia will be looking to extend their run. But given the form of the Indian shuttlers, of late, anything less than a silver will be a disappointment.