Keeping in mind the busy international calendar up ahead for the Indian shuttlers, Badminton Association of India today announced the teams for the next three tournaments after a selection committee meeting that was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Kolkata.
The Selection committee reached a consensus and declared the names of the players who will travel for the upcoming tournaments starting with Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold (May 30th-June 4th), followed by Indonesia Open Super Series (June 12th –June 18th) and Australian Open Super Series (June 20th – June 25th).
World No. 22 Sai Praneeth will lead the Indian challenge in Thailand in the men’s singles division and after a scintillating win in the Singapore Open last month; he will look to maintain his winning run. Also the tournament will see the former World No. 6 Parupalli Kashyap in action. Kashyap who returned to the international arena last month at the China Masters after a long injury lay-off had a decent outing as he managed to qualify for the pre-quarters. In women’s singles, World No. 9 Saina Nehwal will be the cynosure of all Indian hopes. 2012 winner Saina will be eager to win her second title here.
Thailand Open will also be an ideal platform for the upcoming shuttlers to show their mettle and apart from the experienced names; it will also see a host of young Indian players rubbing shoulders against some of the biggest players of the world. Harsheel Dani, Siril Verma, Rahul Yadav, Subhankar Dey will represent the country in men’s singles, while in the women’s singles category it will be Ira Sharma, Ruthvika Shivani and Akarshi Kashyap and Rituparna Das who will be in action as well apart from Saina. Duo of Shlok Ramachandra/MR Arjun will be the lone Indian pair in the men’s doubles category, while the pair of J Meghna/Poorvisha Ram will vie it out in the women’s doubles competition.
In Indonesia Open and Australia Open, India’s hopes will rest on the duo of World No. 4 PV Sindhu and Saina. Sindhu is going through a great run and after winning the India Open Super Series last month, will look to add one more title to her kitty. In the men’s singles, World No. 13 Ajay Jayaram will lead the strong Indian contingent along with 2017 Singapore Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth, H.S Prannoy, Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma and Kashyap. Ashwini Ponappa/Sikki Reddy will be the lone Indian pair in the women’s doubles competition. The team of Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy and Sumeeth Reddy/ Ashwini P will feature in the mixed doubles action.
“We have announced the team in advance so that the players can plan their travel properly and have ample time to prepare better both physically and mentally for the tournaments,” Mr. Anup Narang, Honorary General Secretary and official spokesperson of BAI said.
Thailand Open (May 30 – June 4)
Men’s Singles – Rahul Yadav, Harsheel Dani, Subhankar Dey, P Kashyap, B.Sai Praneeth, Siril Verma, Sourav Verma; Women’s Singles – Saina Nehwal, Rituparna Das, Ruthvika Shivani, Akarshi Kashyap, Ira Sharma; Women’s Doubles – J Meghna/Poorvisha Ram; Men’s Doubles – Shlok Ramachandra/MR Arjun
Indonesia Open (June 12 – June 18)
Men’s Singles – Ajay Jayaram, Kidambi Srikanth, H.S Prannoy, P Kashyap, B.Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma; Women’s Singles – PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal; Women’s Doubles – Ashwini Ponappa/Sikki Reddy; Mixed Doubles – Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy, Sumeeth Reddy/Ashwini Ponappa; Men’s Doubles – Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy, Chirag Shetty/Satwik Sairaj
Australian Open (June 20 – June 25)
Men’s Singles – Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap, Ajay Jayaram, H.S. Prannoy, Sai Praneeth; Women’s Singles – Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu ; Men’s Doubles – Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy, Chirag Shetty/Satwik Sairaj; Women’s Doubles – Ashwini Ponappa/Sikki Reddy; Mixed Doubles – Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy, Sumeeth Reddy/Ashwini Ponappa