World Championships 2021 medallists Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen will be tested by a challenging next rung of players at the selection trials for the upcoming Asian Games to be held at the Jwala Gutta Academy in Hyderabad from May 4-7, 2023.
The Badminton Association of India has been conducting selection trials for major team championships since last year, while a few top-ranked players got selected based on BWF World Rankings (top 20 as of a cutoff date).
Current India No 1 in singles HS Prannoy, double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu along with men’s doubles pairing Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, women’s doubles pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are the direct entries for the squad.
For the remaining spots in the squad, the selection trials will come into play.
Saina Nehwal, two-time Asiad bronze medallist, is not participating due to injury issues.
A total of 20 players (10 men and 10 women) are to be selected for the Asian Games squad ultimately. The trials would be used to select rest of the 14 spots available.
Per the announcement by BAI on Wednesday here are the slots available:
Men’s singles: 3
Women’s singles: 3
Men’s doubles: 1 pair
Women’s doubles: 1 pair
Mixed doubles: 2 pairs
The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China to be played from September 23-October 8, 2023 will have separate team championships for men and women followed by the individual events in which India can have a maximum of two entries per event.
Nine men’s singles players and eight women’s singles players have entered the trials for three spots each while there are four entries each in men’s and mixed doubles and three in women’s doubles.
The selectors have proposed to pick one pair each for men’s and women’s doubles and two mixed doubles combinations through a round-robin tournament format to decide the final standings, BAI said.
Trials for all paired events will begin for 5 May while singles get underway on 3 May.
Invited for trials
|MEN'S SINGLES||WOMEN'S SINGLES||WOMEN'S DOUBLES||MEN'S DOUBLES||MIXED DOUBLES|
|Kidambi Srikanth||Saina Nehwal (withdrew)||Ashwini B /Shikha||Arjun / Dhruv||Rohan / Sikki|
|Lakshya Sen||Aakarshi Kashyap||Tanisha / Ashwini P||Krishna / Vishnuvardhan||Sai Pratheek /Tanisha|
|Priyanshu Rajawat||Malvika Bansod||Radhika /Tanvi||Suraj / Pruthvi||Hariharan /Varshini VS|
|Mithun Manjunath||Ashmita Chaliha||Nithin / Sai Pratheek||Hemanagendra / Kanika|
|B. Sai Praneeth||Aditi Bhat||Kushal Raj / Prakash Raj (withdrew)|
|Maisnam Meiraba||Unnati Hooda|
|Bharat Raghav||Alisha Naik|
|Ansal Yadav||Shriyanshi Valishetty|
|Siddhant Gupta||Anupama Upadhyay|
Trials format is as follows:
- Men’s and women’s singles players will be divided in two groups in Stage 1 with top two players in each group going to Stage 2. The four players will once again face-off in a league format and the result of Stage 2 for players competing against each other for the second time will be considered for final standings. (Positions 1 to 4)
- For the doubles events, there will be only one stage with all pairs playing round robin matches to decide the final standings.
The men’s singles top two seeds are Srikanth Kidambi  and Lakshya Sen , while for the women it is Aakarshi Kashyap  and Malvika Bansod .
Srikanth and Lakshya will start as favourites to pick up two of three spots available are placed in two different groups but all eyes will be on Priyanshu Rajawat, who won Orleans Masters recently, and Mithun Manjunath the national champion. The duo will likely fight it out for the third spot but don’t rule out an upset.
While Kashyap has long been dominant in the domestic circuit and starts as the top seed, national champion Anupama Upadhyaya will surely be in the mix as will be teenager Unnati Hooda. It is a quite competitive group of eight shuttlers.
In women’s doubles Tanisha Crasto and Ashwini Ponnappa will be clear favourites. There should be an intense battle between Dhruv Kapila / Arjun MR  and Krishna Prasad G / Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala .
The decision to go with two mixed doubles pairs is an interesting one as the squad announced last year had three men’s doubles and women’s doubles slots along with the four singles each. Rohan Kapoor and Sikki Reddy, Tanisha Crasto and Sai Pratheek will start heavy favourites here.
Men’s singles groups for Stage 1:
Srikanth K. , Priyanshu Rajawat , Siddhanth Gupta and Ansal Yadav
Lakshya Sen , Mithun M , Sai Praneeth B and 5 Bharat Raghav
Women’s singles groups for Stage 1:
Aakarshi Kashyap , Shriyanshi Valishetty, Ashmita Chaliha and Unnati Hooda
Malvika Bansod , Aditi Bhatt, Aalisha Naik and Anupama Upadhyaya
The trials are expected to be streamed here on BAI’s YouTube channel.