Having lost to the Pune Pistons on Friday, Banga Beats will be feeling the heat as they go into Sunday’s India Badminton League home clash against Krrish Delhi Smashers. The defeat has left them at the bottom of the points table making this clash with another low down team vital. Coach Vimal Kumar told Sunday MiD DAY: “They (Delhi) are strong in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles. Our strategy therefore will be to try win both the men’s singles and the ladies singles.”
Jwala Gutta’s Delhi Smashers have the extremely strong pair of Koo Keat Kien and Boon Tan who have not lost a match so far in the IBL. This pair will clash with the scratch combo of Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar, and the tie should go in favour of the dynamic Malay duo.
In the mixed doubles, the Smashers will persist with the V Diju and Prajakta Sawant as Jwala is still nursing a left shoulder injury. Jwala is happy with Prajakta’s performance anyway. “Prajakta is really playing well. I’m also short of match practice, so in all likleihood, I will prefer her playing the games,” Jwala said. Diju-Prajakta should win this one too.
In the three singles games though Banga look good. Though P Kashyap lost to Pune’s Saurabh Verma recently, he should be able to beat any of the three singles players Smashers have — HS Pranoy, Sai Praneeth or Darren Liew.
Hu Yun may have lost to Pune’s Anup Sridhar, but his vast experience will help him against any of the Smashers. Sridhar had defeated the legendry Taufique Hidayat five years ago when Hidayat was in top form.
Hu Yun should have no problem winning here. Carolina Marin will again be brought in for ladies singles and she should have an easy win against Arundhati Pantawane or Jindapon. It’s a do or die tie for both teams, but more so for the Banga Beats, who could emerge 3-2 winners here.
The writer is a former India player