Don’t let India make Thomas Cup history

India have qualified for the Thomas Cup final for the first time and will face Indonesia.

By: Israr Itah, journalist Republika.co.id


REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Eight years ago, a new badminton record was set in New Delhi, India. For the first time in history, Japan won the Thomas Cup. The Land of the Rising Sun immediately clinched the championship trophy on the first chance to advance to the finals of the world’s most prestigious Interstate Tag Team Championship. In the final, Japan defeated Malaysia with two wins in singles and one in doubles.

Two years later in Kunshan, China, it is Denmark’s turn to make history. Denmark broke the egg after winning the last eight chances in the final, finishing only second. The Vikings beat Indonesia 3-2 in the final.

Japan and Denmark are part of the group of five countries that have won the Thomas Cup. Since its first edition in 1949, until 2012, only Malaysia, Indonesia and China have alternately won. Japan and Denmark then broke dominance as global badminton power became increasingly evenly distributed.

Now the next story has a chance to be made in this edition Thomas Cup 2022 to be held at Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand. For the first time in the Thomas Cup, India qualified for the final. The Bollywood nation started the move with 5-0 wins over Germany and Canada and a 2-3 loss to Chinese Taipei. India finished second in Group C and faced Group D winners Malaysia in the quarter-finals. Lakhsya Sen and her colleagues managed to defeat Malaysia 3-2 to advance to the semi-finals.

In the top four, India therefore outsider because against a tough Danish side that was bolstered by world number one Viktor Axelsen. However, India managed to overturn the prediction by thrashing Denmark 3-2 to meet Indonesia in the final.

Domestically, India’s optimism of being able to achieve maximum achievements actually emerged before the Thomas Cup. Because for the first time in history, India is considered to have a bloodline of quality men’s singles players who can compete with players from other elite countries.

Currently, India has Lakshya Sen who is ranked 9th in BWF, Kidambi Srikanth who is ranked 11th and HS Prannoy in 23rd place. Only two of these three can score points, India’s winning chances are open . Because there is a BWF double number eight Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty that can be relied on for points.

It can be said that the performance of Indian players in singles is relatively stable ahead of the Thomas Cup. Same with Rankireddy/Shetty. It is their capital to be able to penetrate the final.

We also know that in a team match like the Thomas Cup, the ranking has absolutely no impact on the final result. However, hard work and the determination not to lose is the key. This is what India has shown by getting rid of seeds.

In the last three encounters where they lost to Chinese Taipei in the group stage and knocked out Malaysia and Denmark, top-ranked Lakshya Sen has never contributed in points. It was Srikanth and Prannoy who continued to win to make India victorious. An additional point was won by Rankireddy/Shetty. In doubles, Krishna Prasad Garaga/Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala failed to win three times.

Facing India…

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