Indian badminton players Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen starred in the team’s first win at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2020, where they defeated Kazakhstan 4-1 in the Group B match on Tuesday at the Rizal Stadium in Manila, Philippines.
The tie started with former world no.1 Kidambi Srikanth going up against Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Panarin in the men’s singles event and the Indian badminton veteran breezed past the 20-year-old Kazakh shuttler 21-10, 21-7 in straight games.
Dmitriy Panarin, the world no. 264, didn’t stand a chance against Kidambi Srikanth, currently world no. 15, as the match ended in just 23 minutes with India leading 1-0.
Lakshya Sen, Subhankar Dey wrap it up
After a strong start to the tie, the Indian badminton team saw rising star Lakshya Sen and Subhankar Dey extending their dominance over the next two matches with straight-game wins over Artur Niyazov and Khaitmurat Kulmatov respectively.
Lakshya Sen was coming to the tournament in imperious form after a good Premier Badminton League campaign and the 18-year-old’s confidence was evident in the way he played.
The world no. 32 wrapped up the match 21-13, 21-8 in 21 minutes to extend India’s lead to 2-0 as the world no. 418 Kazakh, Artur Niyazov, couldn’t do much.
The third men’s singles clash of the tie was between world no. 47 Subhankar Dey and world no. 552 Khaitmurat Kulmatov. The Kazakh was no match for the Indian badminton player, who ran a 21-11, 21-5 riot throughout the 26 minutes that the match lasted.
With the scoreline reading 3-0 in India’s favour after the first three matches, the tie was already decided.
HS Prannoy, Chirag Shetty stunned in doubles
In the absence of his regular partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty had to partner singles ace HS Pannnoy in the fourth match of the tie, the men’s doubles clash.
Playing against the duo of Dmitriy Panarin and Artur Niyazov, the Indian badminton duo didn’t know what to expect. And after winning the first game 21-18, the Kazakhs came back to surprise the Indians to win the remaining two games 21-16, 21-19 to take their first point in the tie.
India had a specialist men’s doubles team of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila for the fifth and the final match of the tie, where they were up against Kazakhstan’s Nikita Bragin and Khaitmurat Kulmatov.
The match ended with the Indian duo winning 21-14, 21-8 in straight games in 20 minutes to seal the tie 4-1.
What next for India at the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2020
India currently sits at the top of the Group B points table of the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2020 after a heavy 4-1 win in the first group tie. They will next be playing Malaysia in the last group tie on February 13 before their opponents are established for the knockout stage.