CWG 2022: Did Indian badminton team lose gold due to wrong selection?

Last time champion Indian badminton mixed team could not win gold this time, was it because of wrong selection? Malaysia got gold

Badminton team got silver in team event, where did the mistake go?

Image Credit source: PTI

shirish nadkarni

India were champions in the badminton mixed team at the last Commonwealth Games but had to be content with only a silver medal after losing 1-3 to top seeds Malaysia at the Birmingham Arena on Tuesday night. India’s woes were further compounded by the defeat of twenty-nine-year-old Ng Tje Yong, ranked thirteenth in the Badminton World Federation (BWF), by Kidambi Srikanth. The Indian doubles team looked quite weak as compared to the South-East Asian opponents. The match which could have dragged on for a while ended long ago.

Srikanth disappointed

Srikanth, who was the hero of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, who gave competition to the famous Lee Chong in the singles event, was very bad this time. He lost 19-21, 21-6, 15-21 to a player who was brought in as a substitute when world No. 5 Li Jie Jia declared himself an independent player and stopped playing for his country. refused. Even though they won their tie against NG, it was not expected that they would be able to do very well as Malaysia were strong in the doubles event.

It was a setback as to why Srikanth’s name was raised when Lakshya Sen, who won the silver medal in 2021 at Huelva to Spain and World No. 10, three places above Srikanth, was available. The way Lakshya Sen played in the semi-finals against Loh Keen Yew of Singapore and defeated the world champions in straight games, there should have been no hesitation in landing the 20-year-old target against Ng.

It appears that there was no team manager (as Vimal Kumar did during the Thomas Cup earlier this year) and the team selection for each tie would be decided by the coach’s panel in consultation with the players. was. It is surprising that Mohammad Siyadutt, Arun Vishnu and Danish doubles expert Mathias Bo chose Srikanth. That too knowing that Lakshya Sen is not injured and is available. To justify the selection of Lakshya Sen, his world ranking was also Lakshya’s 10 and Srikanth’s 13.

Where did the women’s doubles go wrong?

The Indian team made another fundamental mistake by giving Tresa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand a chance to play in the women’s doubles. Both played with traditional thinking and never thought out of the box. It was wise to pair Trisa with either Sindhu or the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa. It is true that Sindhu is not a doubles player but her presence would have instilled a different confidence in Trisa. Such pairings must have been tried out and both of them should have been trained together in the camp before landing in the arena so that they could build an understanding between each other.

Looking at the fight for the gold medal objectively, it was clear that India started the tie 0-2 down and their chances of winning in women’s singles or mixed doubles were slim. Malaysia was definitely ahead in women’s doubles. Malaysia’s Pearly Tan and Thinaiya Muralitharan (No. 11) and Chow Mei Kuan Lee Meng Yen (No. 13) were in the top 15 of the BWF. On the other hand, the ranking of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy from India was twenty-fourth in BWF. When Sikki did not make it to the doubles team, the young pair of semi-finalists Trisa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand were left to face the challenge of Pearl and Thinaiya at the All England Championships in March this year.

In mixed doubles also, Malaysia’s team was much stronger than India. His Chan Peng Soon – Goh Liu Ying (No. 8) and Tan Qian Meng – Lai Pe Jing (No. 9) pairings finished in the top 10. While the best Indian pair of Rankireddy and Ponnappa was at 27th position.

Mistakes made in men’s doubles too

India’s strength was in the two singles badminton events. It all came down to men’s doubles where Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty took on Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik. This proved to be the first match of the tie and the Indians had to overcome a bad 0-4 record. Satwik and Chirag gave the Malaysian team a lead of 18-15 in the opening game, but after this point, everything went bad for India. The Indian players lost the game for six consecutive points and in the second game he was nowhere to be seen in the game. Chirag was playing very well but Satwik looked ill due to which he made numerous mistakes while returning the shuttle.

After the loss in the men’s doubles, it became necessary for PV Sindhu to retain India in the game by winning the women’s singles. The 2019 world champion finally did as he expected, but during this time he forced the Indian team to hold his heart several times. Sindhu was leading for most of the first game but Youth Olympic Games champion Goh Jin Wei fought a poor 12-18 position to take the points table to 20-19. But Sandhu won the first game with an extra point and one more point.

Srikanth could not handle the pressure

Srikanth was supposed to win his men’s singles match against Ng Tze Yong but this time the pressure he exerted on Lee Chong Wei at Gold Coast four years ago seemed to be on him. His performance was well below his best; And it must also be said that the young Malaysian played his match with full force and forced his seven-year-old rival to run continuously. Once he was 12-5 ahead, he stored all his power for the second game to come. He understood that there is no need to play with full strength in this game.

It can certainly be assumed that Malaysia was a better all-rounder team and deserved to win gold. But still, with better planning, we could have made some results in our favor as we did with Indonesia a few months ago. Although Indonesia’s players were better in every department, Thomas Kum lost in the final under the pressure of expectation. This time about the events of badminton we can say that in Birmingham it will be seen as a lost golden opportunity.