Badminton Asia Team Championship 2020: India starts the tournament on winning note


kidambi-srikanth-asia team championshipThe Indian men’s team started the Badminton Asia Team Championship on a resounding note as they defeated Kazakhstan by 4-1 in their opening Group B match played at Manilla, Philippines on Tuesday.

Kidambi Srikanth started the day on a resounding note as he defeated Dmitriy Panarin in two straight sets by 21-10, 21-7 to give India 1-0 lead in the tie. Srikanth showed his class and never allowed his opponent to come back into the match.

lakshya-sen-badmintonIn the 2nd match, Lakshya Sen cruised to an easy victory over Artur Niyazov in two straight games by 21-13, 21-8 to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the tie. Sen showed his power and created so much pressure on his opponent.

Subhankar Dey was too strong for Khaitmurat Kulmatov in two straight sets by 21-11, 21-5. Dey looked in complete control and made easy work. Sai Praneeth who was not fielded in the singles paired with Chirag Shetty in the men’s doubles lost to Artur Niyazov and Dmitriy Panarin in three sets by 21-18, 16-21, 19-21. The Indian pair showed a great fight but could not close out on the match.

In the final match of the tie, Arjun MR and Dhruv Kapila defeated Nikita Bragin and Khaitmurat Kulmatov in two straight sets at 21-14, 21-8 to win it at 4-1.

This is an important tournament to gain points for the Tokyo Olympics. The Indian women withdrew from the competition regarding coronavirus. Before the tournament, they were grouped with two-time defending Champions Indonesia and the Philippines, but with China and Hong Kong not travelling due to ban regarding coronavirus, the draw was reworked again.

It was a solid start for the Indian team who looked in complete control and made sure that they did the job with ease. India will play their next match against Malaysia on Thursday. After today’s win, India’s chances of reaching the quarterfinals brightens. Malaysia will take on Kazakhstan tomorrow and if Kazakhstan loses, India will reach the knockout round easily.