HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty will lead India’s charge at the Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 to be held in Suzhou from May 14 to 21 as the Badminton Association of India named the squad on Wednesday.

India are drawn with two heavyweights Malaysia and Chinese Taipei in Group C. The fourth team in India’s group is Australia.

The senior national selection committee, which met in New Delhi on Tuesday, followed the guidelines announced on January 3, 2023 to select a balanced squad with an aim to clinch a first-ever medal in the Mixed Team Championships.

India had earlier clinched a bronze medal at the Asia Mixed Team Championships this year.

As per the January circular on the BAI website:

The committee members agreed that along with BWF Ranking, performance of players at the Senior National Championships and recent performance of players at various international tournaments against top world ranking players will also be considered to select the best pool of players to represent India. 

The Indian Team for the Sudirman Cup 2023 will be selected on the basis of

1- Indian players among the Top-20 in the BWF Ranking as on 4th April 2023. 

2- Performance of the players in the 84th Senior National Badminton Championships to be held from 22-28 February 2023 in Pune 

3- Exceptional performance of players against the top world ranking players in last three months.

Indian men had created history last year by winning the prestigious Thomas Cup and hopes of a potential podium finished were raised further following the bronze winning performance in the Asian Mixed Team championships earlier this year.

“Sudirman Cup is a prestigious tournament and the selectors have picked the best squad after studying the domestic and international results. We are confident that this team will challenge for a medal this year,” said Badminton Association of India secretary Sanjay Mishra.

The return of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who missed the Asian Mixed Team event due to injury, will bolster the men’s doubles squad while the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa and new partner Tanisha Castro will provide back up to the All England semi-finalists Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly.

Kidambi Srikanth and reigning senior national women’s singles champion Anupama Upadhyaya will be the other singles players in the squad.

Lakshya Sen, who has slided down the rankings to be India No 3 now, is the reserve in men’s singles while Aakarshi Kashyap, who was runner-up to Upadhyaya at the Nationals in Pune is the reserve in women’s singles.

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Indian team:

Men’s singles: HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth (Reserve: Lakshya Sen)

Women’s singles: PV Sindhu, Anupama Upadhyaya (Reserve: Aakarshi Kashyap)

Men’s doubles: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty, MR Arjun/Dhruv Kapila

Women’s doubles: Gayatri Gopichand/Treesa Jolly, Ashwini Ponnappa/Tanisha Crasto

Mixed doubles: Tanisha Crasto/Sai Pratheek

The Sudirman Cup is the BWF World Mixed Team Championships which takes place every two years. Like the Thomas Cup for men’s team and Uber Cup for women’s team, this is the pinnacle for testing all-round strength in mixed team events. There are five matches in every tie: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.

Group A: China, Denmark, Singapore, Egypt

Group B: Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Canada 

Group C: Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, India, Australia 

Group D: Japan, Korea, France, England  

Here are the 16 teams in the fray with seeding and how they qualified:

1 – China (Asian Champions)
2 – Japan (Ranking)
3/4 – Indonesia (Ranking)
3/4 – Malaysia (Ranking)
5/8 – Thailand (Asian Semifinalists)
5/8 – Korea (Asian Semifinalists)
5/8 – Denmark (European Champions)
5/8 – Chinese Taipei (Ranking)
9/12 – India (Asian Semifinalists)
9/12 – Singapore (Ranking)
9/12 – Germany (European Semifinalists)
9/12 – France (European Semifinalists)
13/16 – Canada (Pan Am Champions)
13/16 – England (European Semifinalists)
13/16 – Australia (Oceania Champions)
13/16 – Egypt (African Champions)