Bengaluru Blasters: Hoping for a Danish blast!

For someone who has beaten the legendary Chinese star Lin Dan this year to become only the third Danish player to win the World championship, Viktor Axelsen should know what Bengaluru Blasters need from him.

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen is the main draw for Bengaluru Blasters.   -  K.V.S. GIRI

Bengaluru Blasters’ roster is led by the reigning World champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. In the women’s singles, Bengaluru’s spearhead is Scottish player Kirsty Gilmour, whose big achievements this year include winning the Scottish Open and the Canada Open, besides a silver — losing to Carolina Marin in the final — in the European Championship.

For someone who has beaten the legendary Chinese star Lin Dan this year to become only the third Danish player to win the World Championship, Axelsen should know what Bengaluru needs from him. He was also the guiding force in Denmark winning the prestigious 2016 Thomas Cup. The 23-year-old took the bronze too in the Rio Olympics and cost the Bengaluru Blasters Rs.50 lakh.

Axelsen has an able ally in Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia, the two-time China Open semifinalist in men’s singles.

What can give the Blasters a huge advantage is the men’s combination of India’s premier doubles player Manu Attri and the 37-year-old seasoned campaigner, Mathias Boe of Denmark. Mathias is a former silver medallist in the Olympics and the World Championship.

In women’s doubles, Blasters will look to the fast-improving women’s doubles player N. Sikki Reddy and the young K. Maneesha to be the surprise packet.

Previous performances: Never reached the knock-out phase.

Quote: “The presence of world champion and the world No.1 in Axelsen can well be the biggest factor which should spur all of us to switch gears in this edition and realise our dream of winning the title.” — N. Sikki Reddy.