New Delhi, Feb 21: The Indian men’s team was upbeat about its chances in the Asian qualifiers for the Thomas Cup badminton championships, beginning Monday at Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
In Thomas Cup, India have been clubbed along with home team Thailand, Sri Lanka and Cambodia in Group ‘C’.
The women’s team, however, will have a tough time in the Uber Cup qualifiers as it has been placed in a strong group alongside Japan, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines in Group Y.
Saina said it will be a big challenge for the women’s team to qualify for the next stage. “We are in a tough group. I will have to win my singles and give the team a good start. It will depend on how play on the particular day,” she said.
Chetan Anand, who will spearhead of the men’s team, was confident of a good show.
“We have some good singles players in the team. We will have to beat Thailand to avoid meeting Indonesia in the quarterfinals. I think we have the strength to beat Thailand and for that the doubles team will have to perform well,” Chetan said.
Only the top four in the Thomas Cup and top three in the Uber Cup will qualify for the the finals of the Team World Badminton Championships in Kuala Lumpur in May.
Men: Chetan Anand, Arvind Bhatt, P. Kashyap, Anup Sridhar, V. Gurusaidutt, V. Diju, Rupesh Kumar, Thomas Sanave, Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal.
Women: Saina Nehwal, Sayali Ghokale, Trupti Murgunde, Sikki Reddy, P.C. Tulasi, Gayatri Vartak, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Shruti Kurian and Aparna Balan.
– Indo Asian News