Although it was only their first match and the opposition was not that strong, the Indian think tank took on World Championship silver medalist Kadambi Srikanth and two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu in their opening mixed team match. advanced some heavy artillery in the form of Match against Pakistan here on Friday.
India are the defending champions in the mixed team competition and are also the most successful team in the 2018 edition of the Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Both Srikanth and Sindhu won silver medals in men’s singles and women’s singles respectively.
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Pakistani players did not make it past the round of 32. There is also a huge difference in rankings between the players of the two countries.
But the coach apparently wanted the Indian heavyweights to get some early match practice and include both Sindhu and Srikanth as well as the top doubles pair of Satviksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty.
India eventually beat Pakistan 3-0, handing the mines a comprehensive defeat without breaking a sweat.
The mixed doubles pair of B Someet Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa set the ball rolling for India as they beat Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti and Ghazala Siddique 21-8, 21-12 in straight games.
Srikanth then took to the court at NEC Hall No. 5 to get the better of Murad Ali, losing 21-7, 21-12 in his second Commonwealth Games in a row. World No. 7 PV Sindhu then sealed victory for India as she defeated Mahur Shehzad 21-7, 216 in double quick time.
Senior player Srikanth was happy with his performance though he said he was a bit nervous at the start as he was playing his first match here.
“It’s always important to get off to a good start in such big games, and I’m very happy with the win. Physically I’m good, it’s just a matter of playing well and enforcing it on the court,” he said.
“I’m playing my first match here at the Commonwealth Games, so I was a bit nervous. There will always be moments of pressure. But yes, it’s always good to start with a win. Very happy with the way things went. , it was just about being consistent and maintaining the momentum,” Srikanth said after his match.
Asked if he would consider missing out on the gold in Birmingham as a disappointment for the entire team, considering the ranking and recent results of the Indian players, Srikanth said he was trying his best and things like that. Not considering.
“We’re not really thinking about the negative aspects of it, what if we lose in the semi-final or the final in any position? We really want to give it our best and not think about the results,” he said.
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About the tough competition in the individual events in Birmingham, especially in the men’s singles, Srikanth said, “Look at the individual event in the men’s singles, all three major medalists from the world championships are here. Loh Ken Yu ( (Singapore) won the gold, I won the silver and the bronze medalist Lakshya Sen is here. So it’s definitely going to be a good one, definitely an interesting one. It’s just about playing well,” he said. added.
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