A day after the women’s team bowed out of the competition, the starring men suffered a set-back in their ambitions against a strong Indonesia side in the semi-final. India’s top ranked shuttler Kidambi Srikanth provided for a head-start defeating Tommy Sugiarto in the opening match. But both the doubles team and Ajay Jayaram lost their matches and India lost 3-1.
Failure to capitalize on good start
Srikanth played Sugiarto in the opening match in the semi-final, the match was expected to be a nail-biter but it was not so. The Indian domination the first game and looked strong in the second, but Sugiarto managed a stroke of genius in the second game to keep floating in the match. The third game saw Srikanth returning to his prime taking the game quickly and handing India the crucial lead. The match finished with scores 21-14, 23-25, 21-9.
Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy were next up for India and looked to extend the lead. However, their opponents proved too strong to handle taking the match in a mere 23 minutes in straight games. The Indian pair lost 21-11, 21-10. Ajay Jayaram went up against world no. 34 Anthony Ginting. The 19 year-old pulled a stunning victory leaving the home crowd in shock. Ginting defeated Jayaram 21-15, 22-20.
Now it was all on the shoulders of Pranaav Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar to win and keep India’s chances alive for a place in the final. The Indian pair took the match to the third game but was unsuccessful. The match ended 13-21, 21-18, 15-21.
Badminton Asia Team Championship Recap
Both Indian men’s and the women’s team started strong at the competition overpowering Singapore in the opening group match. The men and the women registered identical score of 5-0 win.
Indian men faced an uphill task in the next group fixture facing China. Playing at home, India pulled a miraculous victory 3-2 by winning all three singles matches. The women’s team on the other hand were given a taste of their own medicine by Japan who dominated the Indian side 5-0.
The men and the women made it to the knockout stages, where the women faced Korea and the men were up against Malaysia. The women’s team failed to overcome the wounds from the Japan defeat and lost to Korea in straight games 3-0. While the men kept their momentum in favour as they knocked out Malaysia. HS Prannoy emerged the star in the do-or die match for India winning 3-2 for a place in the semi-final.