Bangalore: Having showed some convincing performances in the league stage, both Awadhe Warriors and Mumbai Masters will fancy their chances and look to take one more step closer to the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) title when they lock horns in the second semi-final at Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, on Thursday.
Mumbai, who qualified for the semi-finals as the fourth team, have some big names in their ranks including World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), Mark Zwiebler (Germany), Tine Baun (Denmark) and Vladimir Ivanov (Russia).
The Warriors, on the other hand, impressed after initial hiccups. They peaked at the right time, winning their last three ties on the trot to make the last-four stage as the second-placed team in the table. They would expect to continue their good show.
The Warriors, led by in-form PV Sindhu, had defeated Masters in the league phase 3-2. But Mumbai would be keen to dump that sour defeat in the dock and take inspiration from the games, which they won in the league stages.
Sindhu has won three consecutive games after losing her first two matches. She won a hard-fought battle against Tine Baun in the qualifying rounds, and her form will be crucial for the Warriors when she will be up against the former All England Champion.
The doubles pairing of Mathias Boe and Markis Kido have been consistently performing well and they should rake up another win. The recent acquisition of Pia Zebadiah helped the Warriors team up Kido with his sibling in the mixed doubles and they have been performing admirably with two wins from as many games.
But men’s singles continues to be the Warriors’ Achilles heel as both K. Srikanth and RMV Gurusaidutt have not shown any sort of consistency even though they have displayed a lot of talent. The performance of these two against the likes of Lee and Zwiebler will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the game.
Lee, who has chalked out easy and impressive wins, would like to maintain his momentum. (PTI)