India started its campaign in the Badminton Asia Team Championship in style with the men’s team drubbing Singapore 5-0 and, later in the evening, the women's team too notching up a victory by similar margin over Singapore at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
After the men delighted the Indian camp and the handful of spectators with a near flawless performance in the afternoon, it was the turn of the women to prove a point or two. World No. 12, P.V. Sindhu got the better of a fighting World No. 42, Xiaoyu Liang, with a 21-17, 21-11 win after early hiccups when the Indian shuttler was in a spot of bother with the opponent changing the pace of the game with clever placements at the net.
In the second singles, P.C. Thulasi defeated Chua Hui Zhen Grace 21-16, 21-7 to dash whatever hopes Singapore might have had of coming back into the match.
Soon, recently-crowned South Asia Games gold medallist G. Ruthvika Shivani put it across World No. 198, Yeo Jia Min, for a 21-14, 21-11 win with an impressive all-court display. The Indian clearly thrived on the erratic returns from Jian, who could not judge the length of her returns right.
Then, the focus shifted to the eagerly awaited doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, who were equal to the task with a 21-18, 21-11 win over Shinta Mulia Sari and Tan Wei Han.
In the final match, the scratch combination of P.V. Sindhu and N. Sikki Reddy registered a comfortable 21-8, 21-14 victory over Jian Ying Crystal Wong and Yeo Jia Min to ensure a perfect finish for India on the day.
Indian men excel
Earlier, India got off to a grand start, drubbing Singapore 5-0 in the men's event. World No. 9 Kidambi Srikanth overcame a second-game blues to down Derek Wong Zi Liang 21-16, 12-21, 21-13 in 49 minutes, which literally set the tempo for the others to follow. Though rattled a bit in the second game by the ability of Wong to upset his rhythm and force him into unforced errors, Srikanth made amends in the decider with his trademark jump smashes and delectable half-smashes to clinch the issue.
Then, the doubles combination of Manu Attri and B. Sumeeth Reddy underlined their growing reputation with a 21-15, 21-14 win over Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean in 27 minutes.
World No. 25 Ajay Jayaram too meant business with a clinical 21-11, 21-18 win over Loh Kean Yew in 29 minutes.
Later, Pranav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar made a short work of Chrisnanta Danny Bawa and Wijaya Hendra 21-14, 21-13 in 27 minutes. And not surprisingly, World No. 27 H. S. Prannoy ensured a clean sweep for India with a fluent 21-10, 21-12 win over Ng Zin Rei Ryan in 25 minutes.
Results: Men: Group A: India bt Singapo.re 5-0. Group B: Japan bt Sri Lanka 5-0. Malaysia bt Nepal 5-0. Group C: Thailand bt Maldives 5-0. Indonesia bt Chinese Taipei 3-2. Group D: Hong Kong China bt Philippines 4-1. Women: Group C: Indonesia bt Maldives 5-0. Group D: India bt Singapore 5-0.