Indian chances in Uber and Thomas Cup 2016
The Indian men and women team will take part in the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup Badminton tournament starting from tomorrow in Kungsan, China. The Indian men team are grouped with Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong China. K Srikanth who has skipped the tournament due to a hectic schedule and to get ready for the Olympics in August which will be the biggest test.
The Indian men's team will take on Thailand tomorrow in the first match of Thomas Cup tournament. HS Prannoy has been ruled out due to the toe injury. Ajay Jayaram, Sai Pranneth, Sameer and Sourabh Verma will lead the challenge in the singles.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles pair of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri will lead the challenge. Besides these, Satwik R Raj of Andhra Pradesh and Chirag Shetty would complete the line-up. It is a big blow for the Indian team to play without big players like Srikanth and Prannoy but Sammer and Sarubh Verma have encouraging results to show. In the last edition, the Indian men’s team could not go beyond the league stage.
Without Srikanth and HS Prannoy it is going to be a tough task for the team. An important start for tomorrow's match against Thailand is very crucial to give the team a morale boosting confidence ahead of matches against Hong Kong and Indonesia. The Indian men’s team never reached the knock-out rounds since inception 1948/49. In 2006, they reached the quarter-finals and in 2010, India lost to Indonesia in the quarter-finals 0-3.
The Indian men’s team has to play aggressive badminton and to stand any chance of making it to the second round.
In the Uber Cup , the Indian women’s team will be eyeing another medal after clinching a historic bronze medal in the 2014 edition. The Indian women’s team are clubbed with Australia, Japan and Germany. The Indian women’s team will face Australia in their opening match on Monday before facing Japan and Germany.
The Indian women's team will be led by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu while the third singles will be a toss between Tanvi Lad, Pradanya Gadre and PC Thulasi.
While in the women’s doubles Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa will lead the charge. The second doubles pair India will look to be is the pair of N Sikki Reddy and Maneesha.
The competition will comprise of 3 singles and 2 doubles. The Indian women’s team has a bright chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds while the Indian men’s team need to play out of skin to qualify for the knockout rounds.
The Indian women's team need to replicate their form what they did in 2014. Their biggest test will be against runners-up Japan. They need to be at their best to defeat the runners up. Germany and Australia are not going to tough opponents but need to guard against careless which might be their undoing.