Hotshots begin favourites
On the face of it, the match is inconsequential. One has already made it to the semifinals while the other has virtually no chance of making any...
Hyderabad: On the face of it, the match is inconsequential. One has already made it to the semifinals while the other has virtually no chance of making any further progress bar completing the league formalities. However, this will in no way diminish the spectator interest because the ‘queen’ will be making her Indian Badminton League (IBL) debut in her backyard on Tuesday when table-topper Hyderabad Hotshots take on the down and out Banga Beats for their last league fixture at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy.
It could well be a mismatch given their individual progress in the league but Saina Nehwal and her team will attempt to further consolidate their position even as the Bangalore-based outfit will try to salvage some prestige after the shocking 1-4 drubbing at the hands of Delhi Smashers at home on Sunday.
Having garnered a pitiable nine points from four outings with just one win, Banga Beat are at the bottom of the six-team table.
Tuesday’s match will be loaded with sentiments for the visitor’s Icon player, Parupalli Kashyap, the only bright spark in the team in terms of performances.
He will also be playing his first match of the league on home soil. Unfortunately for him, his teammates, including the eighth ranked Hun Yu, failed to rise to the occasion. However, with a whopping 15 points from four engagements, Hotshots are in roaring form, which was made amply clear by the team members on Sunday.
Saina Nehwal and Taufik Hidayat stated that they would try to win the encounter so that the players would be battle-ready for the semifinals, the first of which will be held in the city on Wednesday. Saina, Taufik Hidayat and Ajay Jayaram will only make things difficult for the visitors. Also, doubles specialists V Shem Goh, Khim Wah Lim, Tarun Kona and Pradnya Gadre in the opposition may prove to be too much for the Banga Beats.
Spanish import Carolina Marin, 2012 London Olympics silver medallist and former world No.1 in men’s doubles Carsten Mongensen would also look to chip in for Banga Beats along with young Indians like Aparna Balan, Arvind Bhatt, Aditya Prakash, Akshay Dewalkar and J Meghna.
The match commences at 8pm.
Teams (from): Hyderabad Hotshots: Saina Nehwal, Taufik Hidayat, Ajay Jayaram, V Shem Goh , Tarun Kona, Pradnya Gadre, Khim Wah Lim, Tanongsak, Kanthi Visalakshi, Subhankar Dey and C Rahul Yadav.
Banga Beats: Parupalli Kashyap, Hu Yun, Tai Tzu Ying, Carolina Marin, Carston Margensen, Akshay Dewalkar, Aparna Balan, Aditya Prakash, Arvind Bhat, J Meghana.
29 Jan 2020 7:47 PM GMT