While the Indian team boasts of big names, Pakistan is struggling to field a team. We learn that their federation has named only a four-member team, world number 175 Mahoor Shehzad being their highest ranked player, in women’s singles. None of the other players are in the top 500.
India are expected to top Group 1. Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka are the other teams in the group.
Two teams from four groups each qualify for the quarter-finals. The only teams that pose a threat to India at the Games are Malaysia and Singapore, but even they have to play well to upset India’s calculations. “Against Malaysia, our singles players are strong and we have better doubles teams than Singapore. Even in women’s singles it would be very hard to stop. Sindhu“said India coach Siyadatullah.
India’s first real contest could be in knockouts against Singapore. The teams play five matches – a men’s singles, a women’s singles, a men’s doubles, a women’s doubles and a mixed doubles.
Sindhu should have it easy against world No. 19 Yeo Jia Min of Singapore. While the doubles teams are too strong, the men’s singles will be tight. India can line up Lakshya Sen ahead of Kidambi Srikanth against world champion Loh Kean Yew.
India’s history at the Commonwealth Games
Against Malaysia, the Indians have to work hard in doubles. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty must be at their best against Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik.
Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly in women’s doubles and Ashwini Ponnappa and Sumeeth Reddy in mixed can also imagine their chances against the Malaysians.