Bangalore: Mumbai Masters will try to overcome the disappointment of the defeat at the hands of Saina Nehwal-led Hyderabad Hotshots in their previous match and focus on staying in hunt for a semi-final berth when they cross swords with Awadhe Warriors in the Indian Badminton League (IBL) here on Saturday.
Despite a thrilling victory by world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Mumbai Masters in the opening match on Thursday, the Hotshots bounced back with Saina guiding the team to a 3-2 win.
But come Saturday, Mumbai will be expecting Chong Wei (Malaysia), Marc Zwiebler (Germany), Tine Baun (Denmark) and Vladimir Ivanov (Russia) to perform to their potential.
Mumbai have garnered 13 points and are placed second in the points table, while the Warriors rose to No. 4 position after thrashing Krrish Delhi Smasher 4-1 on Thursday. Apart from Chong Wei, Zwiebler has also put up impressive performances for Mumbai so far in the tournament, except when he was stunned by Thailand’s Saensomboonsuk on Thursday.
On the other hand, the likes of Malaysian Weng Fei Chong, R M V Gurusaidutt and Thailand Open champion K Srikanth in the Warriors line-up could not really be considered as world beaters. The mixed doubles pair of Ivanov and Sikki Reddy has been exceptional in the tournament so far. Mumbai will be hoping the duo can replicate their performance against the patchy Warriors in this segment.
Sikki has been one of the most impressive doubles players in the IBL with her deft abilities at the net. It will be, however, interesting to see if Chong Wei features in the mixed doubles event like he did in the tie against Krrish Delhi Smashers.
After two successive defeats, the Masters did not play Baun in the last match against Hyderabad and gave an opportunity to P C Thulasi, who was thrashed by Saina in a 28-minute women’s singles match.
The Mumbai think-tank may give another chance to Thulasi or take a decision in Baun’s favour as they don’t have a decent alternative and hope she can grind out a result.
Taking a cue from their match on Thursday when they thrashed Delhi 4-1 and leapfrogged to No. 4 position from sixth in the points table, the Warriors will look to continue their fine run. (PTI)