Saina, Prannoy to spearhead India’s challenge at Thomas and Uber Cup

The tournament is in its 27th year of existence.

CWG gold medallist Saina Nehwal will be complemented by few of the rising Indian shuttlers at the Thomas and Uber Cup. (File Photo)   -  PTI

Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal and world number eight H.S. Prannoy will lead India’s charge at the upcoming edition of the BWF Thomas and Uber Cup, to be played from May 20 to 27 in Bangkok.

The tournament, which is in its 27th year of existence, will see the Asian championship bronze medallist Prannoy, along with World No. 18 B. Sai Praneeth, young Sameer Verma and Junior World No. 4 Lakshay Sen taking the court in the singles event of the men’s championship.

While 2018 CWG gold medallist Saina will be complemented by rising shuttlers Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy (World Ranking 64/Junior World Ranking 5), Sai Krishna Priya (World Ranking 66), India No. One Anura Prabhu and India No. Two Vaishnavi Bhale in the singles competition of the Uber Cup.

Anura is incidentally the first player from Goa to have ever achieved number ranking on the BAI ranking charts. The experienced duo of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri along with World No. 43, Shlok Ramachandran, M.R. Arjuna and the Indian number one ranked pair of Sanyam Shukla and Arun George will be responsible to drive India in the doubles category of the Thomas Cup.

READ: Australian Open 2018: Praneeth to spearhead Indian challenge

J. Meghana, Poorvisha Ram, Prajakta Sawant and Sanyogita Ghorpade will lead the challenge in the women’s doubles competition of Uber Cup.

“We have decided to give the opportunity to young and aspiring talents, along with our experienced players, so that they not only gain the valuable exposure, they will also have the experience to play alongside the top players,” Himanta Biswa Sarma, president of Badminton Association of India, said.

“While selecting the squad, we have considered the performance of the players at the domestic level and those who have excelled in the national circuit have been given the opportunity to show their talent at the highest level.”

The continental tournament will see India taking on France in the opening rubber, followed by Australia and China in the Thomas Cup, while the women’s team, a bronze medal winner in the last edition, will take on Canada in the first tie followed by Australia and Japan.