In the absence of senior players including PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, India Open champion Lakshya Sen and Syed Modi International finalist Malvika Bansod will lead the Indian men’s and women’s teams in the Badminton Asia Team Championships to be played at Shah Alam, Malaysia from February 15-20.
With many players recovering from Covid-19 or injuries, the Badminton Association of India continued to give importance to performances in the two All-India Ranking tournaments played in Chennai and Hyderabad last month in selecting players based on aggregate ranking points scored in the two events.
“We have been considering domestic tournaments for selection for a while now and selecting players in the top-25 world ranking directly. But with most senior players recovering from Covid and injury, it is a good opportunity for us to give the bench strength opportunities to make their mark in the tournament,” BAI secretary Ajay Singhania said in a statement.
The men’s team had won a bronze medal in the last edition of the Continental tournament in Manila, Philippines while the women’s team was withdrawn due to the Covid pandemic as most players were not willing to travel then.
The men’s doubles charge will be led by Kerala’s PS Ravi Krishna and Udaykumar Shankarprasad, who also impressed with their performance against the experienced Malaysian combination of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the India Open.
The combination of Simran Singhi and Khushi Gupta along with the experienced Aarthi Sara Sunil and Riza Mahreen would look to make a mark in women’s doubles.
Singles: Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath, Kiran George, Raghu M; Doubles: PS Ravi Krishna/UdayKumar ShankarPrasad, Amsakarunan Hariharan/Ruban Kumar, Dingku Singh Konthoujam/Manjit Singh Khwairakpam
Singles: Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Tara Shah; Doubles: Simran Singhi/Khushi Gupta, V Nila/Arubala, Aarthi Sara Sunil/Riza Mahreen.