No Sindhu in Thomas and Uber, Sudirman; Saina, Praneeth in focus

Ace shuttler Sindhu, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last month, wants to take a break from the competitive circuit.

Ace shuttler PV Sindhu has decided to take a break after the Olympics.   -  PTI

World champion and double Olympics medallist P.V. Sindhu is a notable absentee in the Indian squads named by the Badminton Association of India for the Thomas and Uber Cup finals in Denmark from October 9 to 17.

She is not part of the Sudirman Cup, to be held in Finland from September 26, either.

The star Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth will spearhead women’s and men’s teams respectively.

A senior BAI official informed Sportstar that Sindhu had written to the BAI last week that she would be taking a break from the competitive circuit.

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For the Thomas and Uber Cup, the London Olympics bronze medallist Nehwal will be accompanied by the top three singles ranks from the trials— Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt and Tasnim Mir — in the 10-member women’s team alongside three doubles pairs, including Tanisha Crasto and Rutuparna Panda, who claimed the top spot in the trials.

The 10-member men’s team also comprised four singles players and three doubles pairs. Alongside Praneeth and the former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, the top two singles players from the trials — Kiran George and Sameer Verma — have received a call-up.

The country’s top men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy has been selected in the team alongside top-2 ranked pairs from the trials.

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The players, for the Thomas and Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup, were selected on the basis of their performances in the recently-concluded trials apart from the automatic selections of the players/pairs inside the top 20 in the world rankings. 

“Other than the top-ranked Indians, we have selected players on the basis of their consistent show in the trials. In the absence of any tournaments, the trials and the new format helped us to zero in on the current in-form players as they have proved their abilities and have earned top rankings in the trials,” BAI general secretary Ajay Singhania said.

“I believe these youngsters along with the senior shuttlers will create a good combination and all the new faces will also gain the experience of playing top-tier tournaments like the Thomas and Uber Cup as well as the Sudirman Cup. On behalf of BAI, I wish all the players the best of luck for both the events,” he said. 

In the Thomas Cup, the Indian team has been placed in Group C alongside the defending champions China; The Netherlands and Tahiti being the other two teams in the group. The women's team has been drawn in Group B along with Thailand, Spain and Scotland in the Uber Cup. 

On the other hand, in the 12-member team for the 17th edition of the Sudirman Cup, top-ranked doubles pair from the trials Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun have been named in the squad alongside Srikanth, Praneeth and doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag, who made into the team on the basis of their world rankings. Among the women, top-2 doubles pairs from the trials, Tanisha-Rutuparna and Ashwini Ponnappa-N Sikki Reddy have been selected alongside top-2 singles from the trials Bansod and Bhatt. 

The teams: For Thomas & Uber Cup: Men: B. Sai Praneeth, K. Srikanth, Kiran George, Sameer Verma, R. Satwiksairaj, Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila, M.R. Arjun, G. Krishna Prasad and Vishnu Vardhan.

Women: Saina Nehwal, Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhat, Tasnim Mir, Tanisha Crasto, Rutuparna Panda, Ashwini Ponnappa, N. Sikki Reddy, P. Gayatri and Treesa Jolly.

Sudirman Cup: Men: B. Sai Praneeth, K. Srikanth, R. Satwiksairaj, Chirag Shetty, Dhruv Kapila and M.R. Arjun.

Women: Malvika Bansod, Aditi Bhatt, Tanisha Crasto, Rutuparna Panda, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy. 

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