New Delhi: India were hammered 1-4 by Malaysia yesterday in their first Thomas Cup group match. The losses in the first two singles and an almost no-show in both doubles will cause deep disappointment in the squad.
RMV Gurusai Datt celebrates winning a point yesterday. Pic/PTI
The form of Parupalli Kashyap, who was outclassed by Chong Wei Feng will cause nightmares to coach Gopi. Kidambi Srikant, was not focussed enough to take on World No 1 Lee Chong Wei in the first singles.
Except for a flurry of activity that saw him reduce a 14-20 deficit to come as close as 19-20 in the first game, he was not much in the match. But Srikant can make amends against Korea, whom India take on today.
Gopi has the option of pushing up Guru Saidutt in second of the third singles. That is a gamble that can be taken, but it's a team call. “It was not a happy situation today, but we will make amends,” said Gopi.
Hope for Srikant
Srikant will play Wan Ha Son against whom he has played just once but lost an extremely gruelling match 19-21 in the third at the Malaysian Open last January. Srikant has the game and the talent to upset the stocky Korean. This is a winnable match.
Kashyap too has played his opponent only once and lost after leading match point in the Singapore Open. He lost 21-16, 15-21, 20-22. He stands a good chance, but it depends how he puts behind his loss to his Sunday opponent.
Saina Nehwal guided the Indian women's team to a crushing 5-0 win over Canada to launch their Uber Cup campaign in
style yesterday. Saina scored an easy 21-4, 21-12 win over Joycelyn Ko in 25 minutes. Sindhu crushed Rachael Honderich 21-16, 21-3 in a 26-minute lop-sided second singles match.