India are the defending champions in the mixed team competition and also the most successful team at the 2018 edition of the Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Both Srikanth and Sindhu had won silver medals in men’s singles and women’s singles respectively. Pakistan players, on the other hand, were not able to cross the round of 32.
There is a huge disparity in the rankings between the players of the two countries. But the coach apparently wanted the Indian heavyweight to do some early match practice and join the top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, apart from both Sindhu and Srikanth.
India eventually thrashed Pakistan 5-0 and handed Minno a comprehensive defeat without breaking a sweat.
The mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa set the ball rolling for India as it defeated Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti and Ghazala Siddiqui 21-8, 21-12 in straight games.
Srikanth then took to the court at NEC Hall No 5, to outperform Murad Ali, suffering a 21-7, 21-12 loss in his second consecutive Commonwealth Games. World No 7 PV Sindhu sealed the win for India as she defeated Mahur Shahzad 21-7, 216 in double quick time.
With India taking an unassailable 3-0 win in the tie, world No.8 men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and women’s pair of Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand also registered a win to help India take maximum points from the tie. .
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty defeated Murad Ali-Muhammad Bhatti 21-12, 21-9 while Tresa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand defeated Mahur Shahzad-Ghazala Siddiqui 21-4, 21-5. India will now play double header on Saturday. After taking on Sri Lanka early, India will take on Australia later in the day.
Senior player Srikanth was happy with his performance, though he said that he was a bit tense initially as he was playing his first match here.
“It is always important to start well in such big matches and I am very happy with the win. Physically I am good, it is just about playing well and applying it on the court,” Srikkanth said after the match.
“I am playing my first game here at the Commonwealth Games, so I was under a little bit of stress. There will always be moments of pressure. But yes, it is always good to start with a win. Very happy with the way things went. It was just about being consistent and keeping the pace,” he said.
Asked whether he considers missing out on a gold in Birmingham to be disappointing for the entire team, considering the Indian players’ rankings and recent results, Srikkanth said he is doing his best and on such things. are not thinking.
He said, “We are not really thinking about the downside, what if we lose in the semi-finals or the final or any situation? We really want to give it our best and not think about the consequences. want.”
On the tough competition in individual events, especially in men’s singles, Srikanth said, “Look at the individual event in men’s singles, the three main medalists from the World Championships are here. Loh Keen Yu (Singapore) won the gold, I won the silver and Lakshya. Sen, who won the bronze, is here. So it’s definitely going to be a good one, definitely an interesting one. It’s just about playing well,” he added.
A total of 16 teams are participating in the mixed team event, with the top two teams from each group in the knockouts. The singles and doubles badminton events in Birmingham 2022 will begin on 3 August and run till 8 August.
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