Uphill task for Pune Pistons against Awadhe Warriors
Over the last few days, Markis Kido has emerged as an irreplaceable part of the Awadhe Warriors side, having showed his class in both doubles and the mixed doubles
The legendary Indonesian shuttler, who has now been joined in the mixed doubles by his sister, Pia Bernadeth, was in superlative form against the Mumbai Masters, winning both his matches.
His form augurs well for the Warriors who will take on Pune Pistons today in a tie that is crucial for both franchises as they eye a semi-final spot.
The Warriors' forte is obviously their men's doubles pairing of Kido and Mathias Boe, who can take on any combination that Pistons' coach Nikhil Kanetkar can think of. Since Sanave Thomas/Rupesh Kumar have not played well so far, it's likely that Kanetkar will have to opt for the combination of Joachim Fischer/Wee Kiong Tan.
And with Juliane Schenk's participation in women's singles being certain, Pistons will have no option but to bench Nguyen Tien Minh, the World No 7 and bronze medallist at the recent World Championships, having exhausted their foreign player quota.
This will give the Warriors an advantage in men's singles too as they have, in K Srikanth and Gurusaidutt, two fantastic singles players who are more than capable of dispatching Anup Sridhar and Sourabh Varma.
The one area where Pistons can look for success will be women's singles, where two of the best players in the world will take to the court. PV Sindhu has played Schenk twice and lost both times, including the All England Championships this year.
â€œI know what is required of me and will not let my team down. It is important I do well as Warriors are strong in one or two matches,â€ Schenk said after her match in Pune when she had defeated Carolina Marin. Schenk enjoys long rallies and is also good in defence, the two areas where the Indian teenage sensation still has some work to do.
That match apart, Warriors definitely look the favourites to emerge winners in this important tie.