Chennai Smashers: Sindhu the spearhead!

The star attraction for Chennai Smashers, of course, will be Sindhu. The Olympics and the World Championship silver medallist is someone who is feared by all in the circuit because of her amazing ability to raise the bar under pressure.

“We are determined to retain the title,” says P. V. Sindhu.   -  PTI

Led by India’s premier woman shuttler and World No. 3 P. V. Sindhu, Chennai will be defending its title with renewed zeal. No doubt, the tag of defending champion might just mean that extra pressure, but going by the manner in which Chennai made a telling impact in the previous edition, culminating in the 4-3 win over Mumbai Rockets in the final, it should be a formidable force.

Well, the men’s singles line-up may not boast any world-beaters, but the Thai southpaw and 2016 Denmark Open champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk can be a dangerous proposition on his day. He is a big match player as he proved for his team in the last edition. A student of Business Administration, this 26-year-old should mean business as he had shown in clinching the decider in the last edition’s final, against Ajay Jayaram.

The star attraction, of course, will be Sindhu. The Olympics and the World Championship silver medallist is someone who is feared by all in the circuit because of her amazing ability to raise the bar under pressure. She is a passionate performer who should be the inspiring force behind this team. Her new-found trait of being more patient, unlike going all out too early in matches, should be an ominous sign for the opponents. Sindhu has been retained by the team for Rs. 48.75 lakh compared to Rs. 39 lakh in the last auction.

The presence of the Adcocks — Chris and Gabrielle — the 2017 World Championship bronze medallists in mixed doubles is a huge bonus. They can tilt the issue in their team’s favour in case of a closely fought battle. They also feature in men’s (Chris most probably partnering B. Sumeeth Reddy) and women’s doubles (with Sindhu most likely to partner Gabrielle).

Previous performances: Winner 2017. Semifinalist 2016.

Quote: “We enjoy the tag of being defending champions and we will be determined to retain the title and prove that our last edition’s performance was no flash in the pan.” — P.V. Sindhu.