Nanning (China): Top shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will spearhead the Indian challenge at the prestigious Sudirman Cup which gets underway here on Sunday.
India, who reached the quarterfinals twice in 2011 and 2017, will continue their hunt for an elusive medal in the mixed team championship. Placed in Group 1D, India will have to beat the mighty China and 2009 semifinalist Malaysia to qualify from the group.
For that to happen, the likes of reigning BWF World Tour Finals winner Sindhu, 2019 Indonesia Masters champion Nehwal, 2019 India Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth and BWF World Tour Finals semifinalist Sameer Verma will have to come good.
As a team, India, seeded eighth this time, did beat Malaysia enroute an unprecedented team gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. The 13-member contingent will also have an advantage, as former World No. 1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei is not taking part in the tournament this time.
Malaysia will rest their hopes on Lee Zii Jia in the men’s singles while Goh Jin Wei or Soniia Cheah will lead the charge in the women’s singles. In the last edition, India stunned 1989 winners Indonesia on their way to the quarter-final where they lost to eventual runners-up China. India will take on Malaysia on Monday before locking horns with 10-time champions China the next day.