The Telegraph
Sunday , May 18 , 2014
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All eyes are on Saina, Kashyap

New Delhi: Touted as the World Cup of badminton, the Thomas and Uber Cup comes to India for the first time but despite promising to raise their game in home conditions, the country’s shuttlers have kept their expectations realistic in the star-studded biennial event starting here, on Sunday.

India have been clubbed with Malaysia, South Korea and Germany in Thomas Cup and Thailand, Canada and Hong Kong in the Uber Cup.

While P. Kashyap and his team will start their campaign against a formidable Malaysia, Saina Nehwal and Co. will look to set the ball rolling when they face Canada on Sunday.

With a format of three singles and two doubles, India will be solely relying on singles to take them through, and Saina and Kashyap have their task cut out as captains.

In Uber Cup, world No. 8 Saina will take the court to give her team a rousing start, while world No. 11 Sindhu will have to win her second singles.

Sayali Gokhle, meanwhile, replaced an injured Arundhati Pantawane. Commonwealth Games gold-medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will be expected to pull off their doubles match to take India to the last eight stage.

“First singles makes a lot of difference. I have to be very focused. If I can perform well in my opening singles, it will boost the confidence of others,” Saina said. (PTI)