PBL 2018: Analysing PUNE 7 ACES Squad
The season four of Premier Badminton League kicks off on 22nd December. The tournament will be hosted by 5 cities starting from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Bengaluru. The opening match takes place at DOME NSCI SVP STADIUM, Mumbai. The inaugural edition of the Indian badminton league was held in 2013. Hyderabad Hotshots won the inaugural IBL title. The second season of the league 2016 Indian Badminton Lague was won by Delhi Dashers (formerly Delhi Acers). The third season began on 22 December and came to an end on 14 January 2017 with the Hyderabad Hunters headed by the Spanish champion Carolina Marin clinching the title in the finals.
The latest edition has 9 teams with Pune 7 aces being the debutant. The auction saw owners Tapsee Pannu and KRI buy the current world champion, Carolina Marin. The team is well balanced with a mix of youth and experience.
Players to look out for:
Carolina Marin (Singles):
The left-handed Spaniard, who played a major role in helping Hyderabad Hunters win the title last year, will lead Pune this time. The current Olympic champion has a tremendous speed of shot, strength, and court movement. Her cross court smashes and pace are her two important weapons. She sets up her game at a rapid pace and maintains that which helps her to dictate the game. The three-time world champion comes with a great on-court character and winning mentality which will be helpful for young aces. The Aces will rely massively on their captain's good form.
Chirag Shetty (Doubles):
The young talented player made his name in Gold Coast this year. Facing a disc injury and with just one day of practice the right-handed player didn’t give up and won a gold in the team event and a silver in the individual event at the Commonwealth 2018. This tournament will give this rising star much-needed experience for upcoming tournaments.
Mathias Boe (Doubles):
The former All England Super Series winner is master of fakes and his return smashes are a joy to watch. Mathias Boe has a great ability to read the game and get the better of his opponent. The Danish's star experience will come in handy as he will be teaming up with young players in doubles.
Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt (Singles):
The former European games winner is known for her scintillating pace and strength. The Danish Queen has always been a fan favorite because of her passion. Her good form going into the tournament is really positive news for the Aces. Her incomparable grit and a never give up attitude are all set to take on the adventures of PBL.
As a veteran of the game, he has gone through all the highs and lows of badminton career. 2014 shoulder surgery put a halt on his career but the shuttler came back and won gold in the Dutch Open in 2015. He has all the experience which will matter during crunch moments. Despite the challenges he faced, his passion has made him the spectacular team player that he is.
Rest of the squad:
The rest of the squad is completed by Prajakta Sawant (Mixed Doubles), Brice Leverdez (Singles), Lakshya Sen (Singles), Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Singles), Vladimir Ivanov (Singles). The team will get coached by Fernando Rivas who has masterminded Marin's success all over the world. With current world champion, European champion and Olympic champion as their captain and experienced players fueled by young blood, this Pune team is a strong contender.
PUNE 7 ACES start their campaign against PV Sindhu led Hyderabad Hunters in the season opener on 22nd.