PBL: In-form Hyderabad Hunters hosts Chennai Smashers on Christmas

Hyderabad Hunters, led by its icon player P.V. Sindhu, will host Chennai Smashers at the Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad on Tuesday.

All eyes will be on Hyderabad Hunters' icon player P.V. Sindhu.   -  Luis Veniegra - BWF

For World No. 3 P.V. Sindhu, it will be a different kind of a battle when she spearheads Hyderabad Hunters’ challenge against her former team, Chennai Smashers, when the two teams clash in the second round of the Premier Badminton League-4 (PBL) commencing at the Gachibowli Stadium here on Tuesday.

For the record, Sindhu is now the icon player of the crowd favorite against the former champion. And, having ensured a grand start to the team's campaign in the opener against Pune 7 Aces - herself leading from the front with a win over three-time world champion Carolina Marin - the fans quite naturally expect an encore.

Read: Sindhu wins as Hyderabad Hunters romps home against Pune 7 Aces

That Sindhu will be the cynosure of all eyes will be an understatement as the next best players in her squad are men's singles lead player Lee Hyun Il (World No. 25) and World No. 32 Mark Caljouw of Holland.

The doubles challenge for Hunters will be led by World championship medallists Kim Sa Rang, Eom Hye Won in women’s and mixed doubles categories.

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World No. 12 Chong Wei Feng will be leading the men's singles challenge for Chennai Smashers.   -  Getty Images

 

On the other hand, Chennai begins its campaign this season here and hopes to look for a winning start with former World No. 12 Chong Wei Feng leading men's singles challenge and former World No. 2 and Korean Sing Ji Yun in women's singles being the lead star, who beat Sindhu in the Hong Kong Open last month.

It will be interesting to see how local hero Parupalli Kashyap, playing the first big match after his marriage to Saina Nehwal recently, will shape up for the big clash.

But, it is the doubles combination of world championship medallists Adcocks - Chris and Gabrielle (mixed) - which should provide the desired cushion in case of any reverses in singles for Chennai outfit.

“Yes, it was a very good start and we managed to win our opening tie without dropping a single match. Now, we are playing on home turf and I am really looking forward to keeping the winning momentum going,” says Sindhu.

With a capacity crowd expected on Christmas holiday tomorrow, by all means it should be an exciting battle though Hunters starts as favourites even as a possibility of an upset of sorts cannot be ruled out like in any sporting goods contest.