Sindhu takes a break
World champion and double Olympics medallist, P.V. Sindhu, is the notable absentee in the Indian squads named by the Badminton Association of India for the Thomas and the Uber Cup finals in Denmark from October 9 to 17 and also for the Sudirman Cup to be held in Finland from September 26.
Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth will spearhead the women’s and men’s teams.
A senior official informed The Hindu that Sindhu had written to the BAI last week informing it that she will be taking a break from the competitive circuit as part of her recovery programme after the Olympics.
For the Thomas and Uber Cup, London Olympics bronze medallist Nehwal will be accompanied by the top three singles ranks from the trials — Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt and Tasnim Mir — in the 10-member women’s team alongside three doubles pairs, including Tanisha Crasto and Rutuparna Panda, who claimed the top spot in the trials.
The men’s team also comprised four singles players and three doubles pairs. Alongside Praneeth and the former World No. 1 K. Srikanth, the top two singles players from the trials — Kiran George and Sameer Verma — have received places in the team.
The country’s top men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy has been selected in the team alongside top two ranked pairs from the trials.
The players for the Thomas and Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup were selected on the basis of their performances in the recently-concluded trials apart from the automatic selections of the players who are placed inside top-20 in the world rankings.
“Other than the top-ranked Indians, we have selected players on the basis of their consistent show in the trials. In the absence of any tournaments, the trials and the new format helped us to zero in on the current in-form players as they have proved their abilities and have earned top rankings in the trials,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.
In the Thomas Cup, the Indian team has been placed in the Group C alongside the defending champions China with Netherlands and Tahiti being the other two teams in the group. The women’s team has been drawn in the Group B along with Thailand, Spain and Scotland in the Uber Cup.
The biennial tournament will see the Indian team competing along with the defending champions China, Thailand and hosts Finland in the Group A.
The teams: For Thomas & Uber Cup: Men: B. Sai Praneeth, K. Srikanth, Kiran George, Sameer Verma, R. Satwiksairaj, Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila, M.R. Arjun, G. Krishna Prasad and Vishnu Vardhan.
Women: Saina Nehwal, Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhat, Tasnim Mir, Tanisha Crasto, Rutuparna Panda, Ashwini Ponnappa, N. Sikki Reddy, P. Gayatri and Treesa Jolly.
Sudirman Cup: Men: B. Sai Praneeth, K. Srikanth, R. Satwiksairaj, Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila and M.R. Arjun.
Women: Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt, Tanisha Crasto, Rutuparna Panda, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy.
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