New Delhi, Feb 20 : There were no surprises in the Indian badminton team which was picked on Tuesday for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4. P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth will lead Indias charge.
The mixed team event which starts on April 5 will see World No. 3 Indian Kidambi Srikanth, leading India’s challenge down under. World No. 11 H.S Prannoy will be backing up his compatriot in the men’s singles department.
In the women’s singles department, Olympic medallists Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will shuffle roles as the team will pin hopes on the singles event.
The pairing of Chirag Shetty and Saiwiksairaj Rankireddy will look to set the court on fire in their debut performance at the Commonwealth Games, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra will pair up with N. Sikki Reddy for the mixed doubles clashes.
In the women’s doubles section, the pair of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa will look to continue their great performances as Ashwini will try to emulate her 2010 gold medal winning run with her new partner.
Multiple CWG medallist since the 2006 edition, veteran doubles specialist Jwala Gutta has not been picked for the squad.
“I feel we have strong chance to win the competition this year as our players have surged through the rankings and will give it their best shot at this prestigious event to bring laurels for the country,” Anup Narang, General Secretary of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), said after the selection committee meeting in Kolkata.
The Indian team has been drawn in Group A against neighbours Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland, which arguably makes their task cut out for them to progress to the knockout phase of the tournament.
After the winners in the mixed team event are decided by April 9, all players will move onto their respective individual events from April 10 and try to make their mark on the podium on April 14 and 15.
“It was tough to choose these players but after a long discussion we have chosen the ten best players to compete in the Commonwealth Games and we are positive that they will make the country proud,” Narang added.
Men: Kidambi Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra
Women: P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Ashwini Ponappa, N. Sikki Reddy, Ruthvika Shivani Gaade