Young Indian women’s badminton team registered their second successive victory in the BWF Uber Cup. It helped them sail into the quarterfinals in Aarhus, Denmark on Tuesday.
India rallied back strongly to outclass Scotland 4-1 in their Group B encounter despite losing the opening women’s singles match.
In their inaugural group outing on Sunday, India defeated depleted Spain 3-2 to start their campaign on a winning note. Spain's team was without the services of Rio Olympic gold medalist Carolina Marin, who has been recovering from the injury.
The young-looking Indian side rose to the occasion to down Scotland 4-1 on Tuesday, marking a new beginning for Indian badminton. The average age of the Indian team is just 18.5 years with 22-year-old Rutaparna Panda, the "oldest" member of the side. The youngest member of the side, Tasnim Mir, 16, turned out to be one of the chief architects of India’s win over Scotland.
The Gujarat teenager was given a chance to play the third singles after Saina Nehwal was injured during the opening match against Spain on Sunday.
The debutant Tasnim reposed the faith shown to her by the team management to thump Lauren Middleton 21-15, 21-6 in just 25 minutes. Tasnim did no damage to her ever-growing reputation with a fluent win.
Aditi Bhatt was also impressive during her 21-14, 21-8 victory over Rachel Sugden. The 18-year-old Delhi girl recorded her second consecutive victory in the Uber Cup.
Malvika Bansod loses to world No. 26 Kirsty Gilmour in opener
India did not get a good start as Malvika Bansod lost to World No. 26 Kirsty Gilmour. World No. 104 Malvika fought well initially but could not match her higher-ranked opponent as the match progressed.
The experienced Scottish player capitalized on southpaw Malvika’s lack of international exposure to complete the win in 36 minutes. Twenty-year-old Nagpur shuttler Malvika did well to win against Spain on Sunday.
Women's doubles pairs Tanisha-Rutaparna and Treesa-Gayatri shine
One of the positives of the 4-1 win over Scotland was the performance of India’s women’s doubles pairs.
Both Tanisha Crasto-Rutaparna Panda and Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela displayed excellent temperament to notch up crucial victories. Wins by doubles duos helped India rout Scotland 4-1.
It was the second win on the trot for Tanisha (Goa) and Rutaparna (Orissa) since their debut win over Spain on Sunday.
The teenage pair of Treesa (Kerala) and Gayatri (Telangana) played their first Uber Cup match and celebrated their launch with a three-game win. Treesa and Gayatri overcame a stiff challenge from Kirsty Gilmour and Eleanor O’donnell 21-8, 19-21, 21-10 in 55 minutes.
Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost their match against Spain on Sunday. After their loss, the Indian team management fielded the new talented pair Treesa and Gayatri for the Scotland tie.
The move paid off as Treesa and Gayatri recorded a win to help India post a big victory.
India will take on formidable Thailand in their third and last league match on Thursday.
Uber Cup Results
India beat Scotland 4-1
Women’s singles 1
Malvika Bansod lost to Kirsty Gilmour 13-21, 9-21 (36 minutes)
Women’s singles 2
Aditi Bhatt bt Rachel Sugden 21-14, 21-8 (26 minutes)
Women’s doubles 1
Tanisha Crasto-Rutaparna Panda bt Julie Macpherson-Ciara Torrance 21-11, 21-8 (34 minutes)
Women’s singles 3
Tasnim Mir bt Lauren Middleton 21-15, 21-6 (25 minutes)
Women’s doubles 2
Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela bt Kirsty Gilmour-Eleanor O’donnell 21-8, 19-21, 21-10 (55 minutes).