India takes on formidable Indonesia in Thomas Cup final

Defending champion Indonesia has been the team to beat in the competition, given its formidable record, but India is no pushover as it has brought down the mighty Malaysia and Denmark en route to its maiden final at the showpiece. While Indonesia boasts of an unbeaten record, India has lost only one tie thus far.
India takes on formidable Indonesia in Thomas Cup final
HS Prannoy

BANGKOK: Brimming with confidence, India will once again look to punch above its weight when it runs into 14-time winner Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final here on Sunday.

Defending champion Indonesia has been the team to beat in the competition, given its formidable record, but India is no pushover as it has brought down the mighty Malaysia and Denmark en route to its maiden final at the showpiece. While Indonesia boasts of an unbeaten record, India has lost only one tie thus far.

In the title decider, India will look to prove that it possesses the wherewithal to overcome its fancied opponent. Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy – the poster boys of India men’s badminton – have shouldered the responsibility with an invincible record of five wins. Meanwhile, the lead doubles combination of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has delivered in tough situations, so the duo would be eager to continue its fine run.

The second doubles pairing of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala has proved to be a weak link, but gave a good account of itself in the losses to Malaysia and Denmark in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

Hence, the India think-tank may bring back MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila as the second doubles duo for the summit clash. Lakshya Sen, who was down with food poisoning at the start of the tournament, has performed well in patches but could not provide a positive start in the last two outings. So, the youngster would be keen to deliver when it matters the most for India that is seeking history.

While Lakshya is likely to face Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Srikanth is expected to be up against Jonatan Christie. If the tie goes to the decider, Prannoy may cross swords with Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. Indonesia possesses some of the best doubles players in the world – Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan – who could be too hot to handle for the India team in the gold-medal match.

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