After a comprehensive 5-0 victory over minnows and neighbouring country Sri Lanka, the Indian badminton team would be brimming with confidence when it meets arch-rivals Pakistan at the Carrara Sports Centre in Queensland for its second group stage match of the day. In a 5-stage matchup, the duo of Satwik Rankireddy and Sikki Reddy would start off the proceedings for India in the Mixed Doubles category. This would soon be followed by World No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth’s match against Murad Ali (Rank 623) in the Men’s Singles category.
In the Women’s singles, former World No. 1 and Bronze medallist in London 2012, Saina Nehwal would be up against Mahoor Shahzad. The baton for India would then be taken up by the pair Pranaav Chopra and Chirag Shetty in the Men’s Doubles; before Ashwini Ponappa and Ruthvika Gadde look to finish off things in the Women’s doubles category. The team would, however, miss their marquee player PV Sindhu for the second time today as its learned that she has chosen not to feature in the fixture in order to fully recover from the ankle niggle she suffered a few days ago.
Earlier in the day, the star-studded Indian team thrashed a rather incompetent Sri Lankan side 5-0. The pair of Ruthvika Gadde and Pranaav Chopra gave India a flying start by beating their rivals 2-1 in the Mixed Doubles category. This was followed by a rather thunderous performance by Srikanth, wherein he beat his SL counterpart N. Karunaratne 2-0 in straight sets. india then gained an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the match after Satwik Reddy and Chirag Shetty in two straight sets.
Saina Nehwal then gave India its 4th victory by defeating MD Beruwelage 21-8 and 21-4 in successive games. The match ended with Ashwini Ponappa and her partner Sikki Reddy’s victory in the Women’s doubles as they too beat their opponents 2-0 in straight sets to hand India a 5-0 victory and a dream start to their campaign for gold in the Commonwealth Games down-under.