PBL 2018: All you need to know about Chennai Smashers
Losing icon player PV Sindhu, especially after she has won the biggest title of her career, might seem like a setback. But Premier Badminton League Season 2 champions Chennai Smashers have made up for it by getting a balanced squad for the upcoming edition of this pan-Indian competition.
Former World No. 2 Sung Ji Hyun has taken Sindhu's place in the Chennai team. A highly accomplished shuttler, the Korean definitely has it in her to wreak havoc on her opponents and guide the Smashers to their second title.
At the Hong Kong Open last month, Sung had a confidence-boosting victory over none other than Sindhu. The Korean, a regular at the PBL, would look to draw inspiration from that victory when the two cross swords at the league.
The men's singles challenge will be led by Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Rajiv Ouseph. The World No. 36 reached the finals of the European Championships and the SaarLorLux Open and does indeed possess the tools to be a threat to the big names.
The newly-married Parupalli Kashyap is also a part of this team. Having recovered from a back injury, the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist is itching to get back to the top echelons of his sport. This would this be the perfect place for the 32-year-old to get some much-needed match practice before the hectic season gets under way in the professional circuit.
Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng has had a career-best ranking of 12th in 2013 and could lend his expertise to help fetch the team a win.
Chris and Gabrielle Adcock are the leading members of the doubles section. Presence of the World No. 9 pair, who are pretty much PBL veterans, will give them an edge in any clash.
Chris will also get some good support from India's Sumeeth Reddy and Hong Kong's Or Chin Chung.
Reddy had a superb end of season that culminated in his title win at the Tata Open India International Challenge. Before that he and Manu Attri won the Lagos International and had a few upset wins over many higher-ranked teams and that shows that Sumeeth is indeed a wise pick by the Smashers brigade.
Or Chin Chung has been ranked as high as No. 24 in men's doubles and can make a redoubtable partnership with Adcock or Reddy.
Squad: Sung Ji Hyun (women's singles), Saili Rane (women's singles), Parupalli Kashyap (men's singles), Rajiv Ouseph (men's singles), Chong Wei Feng (men's singles), Chris Adcock (doubles), Gabrielle Adcock (doubles), B Sumeeth Reddy (doubles), Rutaparna Panda (doubles), Or Chin Chung (doubles)