The highly-flying Ahmedabad Smash Masters take on the two-time runners-up Mumbai Rockets in the last match of the Chennai leg at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 on Tuesday. While the debutant team from Ahmedabad is currently in the third place in the eight-team standings, Mumbai are languishing at the bottom of the table.
On paper, Ahmedabad have the bigger stars. World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying and Indian national champion HS Prannoy have been their guiding force so far. With their presence in the squad, the new team should feel confident about their chances tonight and look thoroughly determined for a semi-final spot.
However, they cannot afford to be complacent. Both Tai and Prannoy suffered losses in Ahmedabad's most recent outing against the Chennai Smashers, ending their respective winning streaks.
That was definitely a wake-up call for a team, that had looked pretty well-balanced till then.
Given the way the last few ties had panned out at the PBL 2018, anything is possible. The sheer unpredictability of the league is what makes it more exciting and thrilling to watch.
The manner in which the Hyderabad Hunters demolished the heavily-favoured Awadhe Warriors 6-(-1) should give hope to any team that has been struggling.
The Mumbai Rockets haven't had the best of results at the league this season, but they did manage to carve out a 4-1 victory over the Awadhe franchise in their last assignment. If anything, they would surely take a lot of inspiration from that performance and look to repeat their heroics in tonight's tie.
Here is all the information you need to know
Tournament name: Premier Badminton League Season 3
Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai
Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Time: Mumbai Rockets vs Ahmedabad Smash Masters at 7pm IST
Channel: Star Sports 1/Star Sports 1 HD
Livestream information: Star Sports Hotstar
Mumbai Rockets - Son Wan Ho, Sameer Verma, Beiwen Zhang, Lee Yong Dae, Tan Boon Heong, Arjun MR, Tarun Kona, Gabriela Stoeva, Kuhoo Garg, Sanyam Shukla.
Ahmedabad Smash Masters - HS Prannoy, Sourabh Verma, Siril Verma, Tai Tzu Ying, Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli, Law Cheuk Him, Lee Chun Hei Reginald, K Nandagopal, Kamilla Rytter Juhl, Stefani Stoeva.