Meiraba Luwang and Tanisha Crasto guided India to a commanding 4-1 win over USA in their Group E clash as the contingent started their campaign at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2019 in Kazan, Russia on Monday.

Goa’s Crasto was the star of the show for India having fetched wins in girls’ doubles as well as mixed doubles. Playing alongside Chattisgarh’s Ishaan Bhatnagar, the duo delivered the first point to India with their 22-20, 21-9 victory over Jacob Zhang and Jessica Wang.

India’s star junior boys’ singles shuttler, Maisnam Meiraba Luwang of Manipur was the next to take the court. The junior world No 10 stamped his authority over the 520th ranked Alexander Zheng with a blowout 21-9, 21-11 win in 26 minutes. Luwang has been in scintillating form this year, having triumphed at the Russian Junior White Nights 2019 and finished as the runner-up at the India Junior International earlier in the year.

After winning the Dubai Junior International Series earlier this month, Gujarat’s Tasnim Mir ground out a gritty 21-19, 25-23 win over Junior world No 75 Natalie Chi to secure the 3-0 tie win for India.

India, however, lost the fourth rubber when the boys’ doubles combine of Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Iman Sonowal went down 23-25, 19-21 to William Yu and Joshua Yuan.

The in-form pair of Aditi Bhatt and Crasto then played the last match of the tie against Katelin Ngo and Esther Shi. The Indians, who secured back-to-back wins in the two selection tournaments, were made to work hard by the American pair before they pulled off a 21-16, 15-21, 21-7 win in 46 minutes.

Action in the group stages will continue till October 2 following which the knockout rounds will begin. Besides India and USA, the other teams in Group E are Australia, Armenia and Japan.

India lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals last year and will look to go further this time.