Having put up a sizzling show in 2016, all eyes will be on superstar PV Sindhu when the Chennai Smashers launch their campaign for the 2017 Premier Badminton League (PBL-2) title. The current toast of Indian badminton has great memories from the last season where she went unbeaten in five matches and even scooped up the Most Valuable Player Female award.
The World No. 6 will surely look to continue that streak in the second season as well. And there’s no reason why she cannot do it after the way she performed throughout this year.
Her Rio Olympics silver bolstered her confidence by miles which was evident during the Asian swing where she clinched the China Open and reached the final of the Hong Kong Open followed by a semi-final appearance at the World Superseries Finals.
In men's singles too, the southern franchise has a considerably good line-up. Coming from the champions Delhi Acers to the 2016 semi-finalists Chennai Smashers in 2017 is the MVP (Male) Tommy Sugiarto. The Indonesian was a sensation in the past season, winning all three of his matches.
Also Read: PBL 2017 Team Profile: Delhi Acers
He, however, has not been at his best of late but he can surely bank on his teammate Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk to lead the Smashers challenge with authority. The World No. 11 surged to his maiden Grand Prix Gold as well as Superseries titles back-to-back at the Thailand Open and the Denmark Open this year and will be aiming to replicate those efforts at the PBL-2 too.
The third men’s singles player is India’s very own Parupalli Kashyap. The Commonwealth Games champion, who is making his comeback from knee surgery, has recently started showing flashes of his brilliance. The 30-year-old made it to the semi-finals of the Korea Masters this December, his best performance at any tournament since the six-month hiatus.
The doubles squad is equally strong. The presence of the World No. 8 mixed doubles pair of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock makes the Smashers formidable for any opponent.
The latter has switched from the reigning champions Acers to the southern team this time to join her husband and regular partner Chris. The two are coming fresh off a runner-up appearance at the Dubai World Superseries Finals held in mid-December. The timing couldn’t be better with the PBL-2 starting in just a few days.
The eighth-ranked Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark will be steering the men’s doubles challenge. The reigning European champion will undoubtedly lend quality to the team and will be ably supported by India’s 2016 Canada Open winner B Sumeeth Reddy.
Also Read: PBL 2017 Team Profile: Mumbai Rockets
Career highlights of Team Chennai Smashers members:
PV Sindhu (WR 6 in women’s singles, India) – 2016 Olympic silver, 2016 China Open, 2016 and 2013 Malaysia Masters, 2016 South Asian Games silver, 2013 and 2014 World Championships bronze, 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze, 2014 Asian Championships bronze, 3 titles at the Macau Open
Arundhati Pantawane (WR 155 in women’s singles, India) – 2012 Bahrain International
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (WR 11 in men’s singles, Thailand) – 2016 Denmark Open, 2016 Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold, 2013 Southeast Asian Games, 2013 Summer Universiade
Tommy Sugiarto (WR 21 in men’s singles, Indonesia) – 2014 World Championships bronze, 2013 Singapore Open, 2015 Indonesian Masters, 2015 Vietnam Open, 2015 Russian Open, 2011 Chinese Taipei Open
Parupalli Kashyap (WR 64 in men’s singles, India) – 2014 Commonwealth Games gold, 2015 and 2012 Syed Modi International
Chris Adcock (WR 8 in mixed doubles, England) – 2011 World Championships silver, 2012 European Championships bronze, 2015 World Superseries Finals, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2013 Hong Kong Open, 2014 Swiss Open in mixed doubles
Gabrielle Adcock (WR 8 in mixed doubles, England) – 2015 World Superseries Finals, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2013 Hong Kong Open, 2014 Swiss Open, 2011 German Open in mixed doubles
Ramya Tulasi (WR 721 in women’s doubles, India) – 2015 Tamil Nadu Badminton State Championship winner
Mads Pieler Kolding (WR 8 in men’s doubles, Denmark) – 2016 European Championships, 2015 and 2013 Bitburger Open, 2015 German Open, 2013 Scottish Grand Prix in men’s doubles
B Sumeeth Reddy (WR 21 in men’s doubles, India) – 2016 Canada Open, 2015 Mexico City Grand Prix in men’s doublesPublished 27 Dec 2016, 19:32 IST