PBL 2020: Mumbai Rockets squad analysis for Premier Badminton League Season 5
- The Rockets have entered the finals of the PBL twice but lost on both occasions. What are their chances in season 5?
With just a few hours left for the Premier Badminton League to begin, the excitement has reached its peak. The 5th edition of PBL is slated to kickstart on 20 January 2019 with the first tie of the blockbuster event being played between the defending champions Hyderabad Hunters and Chennai Superstarz.
Mumbai Rockets will be in action on the 3rd day of the 21-day badminton extravaganza. Parupalli Kashyap is the Marquee Indian player with a host of talented International players bolstering the Mumbai squad further.
The Rockets have entered the finals of the PBL twice but lost on both occasions. Do they stand a chance to win the coveted title in Season 5? Let us find out by doing a squad analysis of the players.
Men’s Singles: Parupalli Kashyap, Lee Dong Keun, Shreyansh Jaiswal
Arjuna Awardee Parupalli Kashyap is a fine talent in Men's Singles. The ace Indian shuttler is currently ranked 25th in the World. Kashyap has won many laurels for the country in the past. Some of these include a gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a Bronze at the 2010 New Delhi CWG. With lots of experience under his belt, the 33-year-old Kashyap will be looking to lead by example in the Men's Singles category.
The Hyderabadi shuttler finished runners up at the 2019 Canada Open (Super 100) tournament. With 300 wins in 515 career singles matches played, Kashyap is a tough nut to crack on his day and can easily compete with the best in the World.
His run at the recent Malaysia Masters and Indonesia Masters was lackluster as he bowed out in the first round of both the Super 500 tournament. To be fair, he was seeded against tough opponents in both the opening clashes - first seed Kento Momota at Malaysia Masters and 7th seed Anthony Sinisuka at Indonesia Masters. Regardless, Kashyap will be looking to bounce back strongly and put up a good show at PBL season 5.
South Korea's Lee Dong Keun is another talented Men's singles shuttler. The 29-year-old won a gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in the Men's team event. He won gold at the 2018 U.S. Open (Super 300) tournament as well. With medals at the Sudirman Cup, Thomas Cup, and Asia Team Championships - Lee is an important cog in the Mumbai Rockets setup and will be looking to create a positive impact this season.
24-year-old Shreyansh Jaiswal will be the backup Men's singles player in the squad. The young Indian ace can come in handy as and when required. Currently World Number 288, Shreyansh has 76 wins out of the 139 career singles matches played.
Also check out: Updated PBL Points Table
Men’s Doubles: Kim Sa Rang, Kim Gi Jung, Shlok Ramchandran
Kim Sa Rang is a supremely talented Men's doubles player. The South Korean shuttler is highly experienced as well and also holds two World Championships Bronze medals (2013 and 2014) in the category. Both of these came with Kim Gi Jung, who is also a part of the Mumbai Rockets squad. The two played together for a long time and won many titles in their career which works in favour of the Mumbai-based franchise.
Last year, Kim Sa Rang won the Hungarian International title and also clinched gold at the South Australia International with his current doubles partner in the International circuit - Kim Duk-young. He also finished runners-up at the Italian International and Nepal International in 2019 in the Mixed Doubles category. The ace shuttler has a phenomenal 224 wins in 320 doubles matches played in his career.
Kim Gi Jung is also a doubles specialist. He currently partners with Lee Yong Dae in the International circuit and the duo is presently ranked 26th in World rankings. Kim Gi Jung has started 2020 on a high after he clinched the 2020 Malaysia Masters (Super 500) gold medal in the Men's doubles category along with Lee Yong Dae. The ace South Korean shuttler is in fantastic form currently and it wills surely do Mumbai Rockets a lot of good in PBL as well.
Shlok Ramchandran partners with M.R. Arjun in the International circuit and the Indian duo is currently ranked 48th in the Men's doubles category. Shlok and Arjun clinched Silver at the 2019 Lagos International and also won the elusive gold at the 2019 Ghana International. The 24-year-old is a talented young shuttler and it will be interesting to see how Mumbai coach Amrish Shinde utilizes his talent for PBL Season 5.
Women's Singles: Shreyanshi Pardeshi
21-year-old Shreyanshi Pardeshi will be looking to make a mark at PBL Season 5. The ace Indian shuttler has played 61 career singles matches out of which she has won 36.
To be fair, Mumbai Rockets are not the strongest when it comes to Women's singles considering the stalwarts the other teams have in this category. Regardless, the slightly inexperienced Shreyansi will have to bring out her best and see if she can spring a surprise in the tournament.
Mixed Doubles: Pranaav Jerry Chopra, Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, Jessica Pugh
Pranaav Jerry Chopra is best known to partner with Sikki Reddy of India in the Mixed doubles category. The Indian pair is currently ranked 28th in the World Rankings. Pranaav won a gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the Mixed team event.
Chopra and Reddy also finished runners-up at the 2018 Hyderabad Open (Super 100). 27-year-old Chopra has played 179 Career Mixed doubles matches out of which he has won 88. Pranaav might also feature in the Men's Doubles category in some of the matches.
Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth is a fantastic Indonesian shuttler. The 30-year-old is a doubles specialist with experience in both Mixed doubles and Women's doubles. She has a remarkable 164 wins out of the 280 career Mixed doubles matches played. Pia pairs up with Ricky Karandasuwardi in the International circuit and the duo are presently ranked 61st in the category. The 2019 Indonesia International champion adds significant value to the Mumbai Rockets squad.
Jessica Pugh is an English shuttler who has a lot of experience in the Mixed Doubles category. 22-year-old Pugh and her partner Ben Lane are currently ranked 26th in the International circuit. They were champions at three BWF International Challenge tournaments last season - namely Belgian International, Spanish International, and Polish Open. Jessica has won 140 of the 222 Career Mixed doubles matches player and will likely be the first choice partner for Pranaav Jerry Chopra for PBL Season 5.
Published 20 Jan 2020, 13:30 IST