The cream of the country’s men’s table tennis will be on view when the 41st Petroleum inter-unit table tennis tournament opens at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.
Defending champion ONGC – led by National champion G. Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai, A. Amalraj, Jubin Kumar and Saurav Saha – appears to be the favourite to retain the men’s title.
Indian Oil will look to regain the title by riding on the skill sets of 10-time National champion Sharath Kamal, Manav Thakkar and Sudhanshu Grover.
Among the other six teams, Oil India headed by Subhajit Saha looks like the best bet to be in the semifinals. Bharat Petroleum, despite having two former National champions Sanil Shetty and Soumyajit Ghosh has not fielded a team due to the absence of a third player.
Among the women, Manika Batra’s absence is unlikely to affect the title defence of Indian Oil. Krittwika Sinha Roy, Reeth Rishya, Archana Kamath and K. Shamini carry enough firepower for Indian Oil.
ONGC, with experienced players like Divya Deshpande, Pooja Sahasrabudhe, Ankita Das and Mousmi Paul, should test Indian Oil.
The presence of the vastly-experienced Mouma Das and youngsters like Yashaswini Ghorpade and Trisha Gogoi makes Oil India the strongest among the other three teams.
During the four-day competition, the individual events will be held after the team competitions for men, women and veterans.
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