Joshna Chinappa expects India to win medals at the Asian Team Championships

The Indian women's squash team will be without the services of Tanvi Khanna - nursing an ACL injury - and Dipika Pallikal - who recently became a mother.

Joshna Chinappa expects India to win medals at the Asian Team Championships.   -  R. RAGU

After an intense session at the Indian Squash and Triathlon Academy here on Friday, Joshna Chinappa said she was looking forward to competing in the Asian team (men & women) championships in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from November 30 to December 4.

Seeded third in the Championships, the World No. 12 squash player feels the Indian women's team has a chance to return with a medal.

"It's good that the event is happening in Malaysia, which has strict COVID-19 rules. They have found a way to have a bubble with three simultaneous events in KL: a PSA event (November 23 to 27), the Asian teams, and the men's team Worlds (December 7 to 12). We have a good chance to equal our seedings and am looking forward to representing India after a long time," said the reigning Asian individual champion.

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The Indian team will be without the services of Tanvi Khanna - nursing an ACL injury - and Dipika Pallikal - who recently became a mother. But Joshna feels it could be anybody's game. "I have to win my matches, and if the rest of the team can back me by winning theirs, anything is possible. With our attitude and outlook, we will play our best and take it one match at a time," said Joshna.

Joshna said there would be no pressure and that she enjoyed team events. "Not really. I've been playing for India since I was 12 years. Pressure comes when I am playing on the professional tour. In a team game, I love the support from players and coaches. I am relaxed, and I play better," she said.

The Indian men's team, on the other hand, are seeded top. They will be looking to win the gold medal. "I think we have a good chance to win, but we will all have to play well to execute our plans to good effect," said Ghosal, world-ranked 15. "Tough competition is expected from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Pakistan, too."

The Indian men's and women's teams did not take part in the last edition, the 2018 Asian team championships, as it coincided with the preparations of the Commonwealth Games.

Joshna and Ghosal will not defend their singles crown in the Asian individual championships scheduled in Islamabad, Pakistan from December 15 to 19.

The teams:

Men: Saurav Ghosal, Mahesh Mangaonkar, Ramit Tandon, S. Velavan; Women: Joshna Chinappa, Sunayna Kuruvilla, Urwashi Joshi, Aparajitha Balamurukan. Coaches: Harinder Pal Singh & Surbhi Misra.

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