How HS Pranoy and Kidambi Srikkanth proved to be ‘Zen Masters’ of India’s Thomas Cup win | Badminton News


New Delhi: When the Indian team took the field BangkokDressed in natural blondes, they number nine. Tenth member, Target Sen., Was already in Thailand; But the news about him was not good. He flew with a bug in his stomach from what he ate before boarding the flight from Bengaluru.
Ten days later, the target will come in the first rubber of India’s dreams Thomas Cup In the final against Indonesia, he was defeated 8-21 in the first game by Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Anthony Ginting. “I thought he would lose.” This was the idea of ​​Vimal Kumar, who was sitting with the Indian team at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
Target, the ‘child of the team’, who grew up last year to amaze some of the best players in the game, beat Ginting in his own game in the next 45 minutes. He gave India an exciting start by winning 8-21, 21-16, 21-17.

(Indian team arrives in Bangkok for Thomas Cup – Photo: Kidambi Srikanth Instagram)
The context of that story is embedded in ‘Team Bonding’ which was probably better than any Indian team before. And he was championed by two of the team’s senior politicians – HS Pranoy And Kidambi Srikanth.
Pranav’s decisive quarterfinal win over Malaysia, which he repeated in the semifinals against Denmark, must have brought a grim smile to the faces of selectors who were criticized for choosing Pranav and were even allowed to bypass the selection trial.
Srikanth, the former World No. 1, shows more than a glimpse of his 2018 form. He remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, winning all six of his singles matches. HS Pranoy also did not let any of his opponents go ahead of him, winning all five singles matches he played.
But what those demonstrations did outside the court was just as important. The two commanded respect from the younger ones, whose recognition grew and the bond with the two ‘Zen Masters’ became stronger. That is probably why the lone defeat against Chinese Taipei in the last group match did not affect the team’s morale towards the quarter-finals against Malaysia.

“I think the day we left Hyderabad, this was the first thing we did in the team discussion, he said this is the time when we can win this because we have a team that can challenge for the title. The only thing we had was to consciously help and support each other as it would change the outcome of the entire tournament.
In that sense, Pranoy and Srikanth proved to be the perfect shepherd of the crowd, especially when there were no ranking points on offer and no prize money to play.
Srikanth said the pride of playing for the country is filled with such distracting thoughts.
“The victory in this tournament belongs to the country. People will say ‘India won the Thomas Cup’, not that Srikanth won the Thomas Cup or Pranoy won the Thomas Cup or anyone else. This is a very special feeling.” Srikanth.

Such words ignited passion, resilience and confidence in the rest of the team including the goal, Chirag Shetty, Satviksairaj RankireddyMR Arjun, Dhruv Kapila, Krishna Prasad Garaga, Vishnuvardhan Gowda Panjla and Priyanshu Rajawat.
It was the resilience that saved Satvik-Chirag four match points before winning the doubles rubber against Indonesia in the final.
“I think I should give credit to all the players for the way everyone has bound this week. We made a conscious effort to do this because we knew this was not very common between us. We play individually all year round. , And then suddenly coming to the next team event and getting jailed is a little tough, “said Pranoy.
But did the two seniors have any special conversations with the youngsters? Srikanth said, nothing special.
“I didn’t need to give a really long speech, just to let them know that they are doing well and you only have to play for an hour (the match they are involved in) and you have to perform really well in that match. You get it.

Target-Sen-AFP

Lakshya Sen (AFP photo)
Pranoy felt that after the victory over Malaysia in the quarter-finals, the belief that they could actually go ahead to lift the trophy had increased a bit.
With a 2-2 tie, it was the affair that knocked the Malaysians out of the tournament with a simple 21-13, 21-8 victory over Leong Jun Hao.
“I always felt that (India can win the trophy). We all believed that this is the team that can actually fight for the title. I think the quarter-final was decisive. It was a big pressure match because That we knew we didn’t have a Thomas Cup medal, we all moved on at the right time.
“After that quarter-final, the recognition got better. In the semi-finals and final, I think we were probably playing 25% more than we did in the previous matches,” said Pranoy.
When asked if his performance was in a way an answer to those who questioned his inclusion in the team, Pranoy chose to thank his supporters.

“I think I’ve always performed under pressure; and to be part of this team, I’m really proud. Thank you to everyone for supporting me. I think I have done justice to my performance at least this time,” he said. Said.
“Nothing has sunk yet.”
India’s winning campaign in the Thomas Cup in numbers:
– 21/28 match wins (win percentage: 75%)
– Won 44 games, lost 24 (Winning percentage: 64.7%)
– Won 1311 points, lost 1159 (Winning percentage: 53.1%)

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