India’s top-ranked shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal will spearhead the women’s squad while K Srikanth will look to return to form after a lengthy break as he leads the men’s squad for the upcoming Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2020.
The squads were announced on Thursday while Badminton Association of India announced that a preparatory camp was not possible.
With the standard protocol and seven days of mandatory quarantine not ending before September 17, which was the initially the scheduled date of team selection for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, it was decided to cancel the preparatory camp. The tournament is scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from October 3 to 11 and marks the return of badminton from the pandemic-enforced shutdown.
The Indian team selection was conducted by the six-member selection committee, evidently based on rankings.
“After a lot of deliberations and meetings with all stakeholders including Sports Authority of India, we have decided to cancel the camp,” BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.
“With the SOP implemented and quarantine procedures followed, there will not be enough time to conduct a camp and hence it was a decision taken in consultation with the five selectors and the National Coach. We have also selected a team that will be representing India at the Thomas & Uber Cup as well as the other two tournaments to be played in Denmark,” said Singhania.
In the absence of the World Championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth, who has opted out due to fitness concerns from the entire Denmark leg, India’s Thomas Cup squad will now be led by former world No 1 Kidambi Srikanth. Parupalli Kashyap and Lakshya Sen will strengthen the men’s squad.
The doubles charge will be spearheaded by former national champions Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy as the country’s No 1 duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to pull out following Rankireddy testing positive for Covid-19.
India’s Uber Cup squad will be bolstered by the presence of both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu after the latter reversed her decision to withdraw.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy, meanwhile, will be helming the doubles department with youngsters Aakarshi Kashyap and Malvika Bansod also getting a look into the squad.
In Thomas Cup, India has been placed in Group C with 2016 champions Denmark being their biggest competition, besides Germany and Algeria in the same group. In Uber Cup, India finds itself in Group D with the other teams being China, Germany and France.
However, the 14-time champions China are still awaiting confirmation of their participation.
The selected players have been asked to submit a fitness certificate by September 17 and players have been advised to train on their own and keep BAI updated on their regular fitness and training status. Team departure will be intimated to the players in due course of time once everything is finalized, a press release stated.
|India's Thomas Cup squad||India's Uber Cup squad|
|Kidambi Srikanth||PV Sindhu|
|Parupalli Kashyap||Saina Nehwal|
|Lakshya Sen||Aakarshi Kashyap|
|Subhankar Dey||Malvika Bansod|
|Siril Verma||Ashwini Ponnappa|
|Manu Attri||N. Sikki Reddy|
|B. Sumeeth Reddy||Pooja Dandu|
|MR Arjun||Sanjana Santosh|
|Dhruv Kapila||Poorvisha S. Ram|
|Krishna Prasad Garaga||Jakkampudi Meghana|
Draw for TUC-2020 (made on August 3):
THOMAS CUP (MEN):
Group C: Denmark, India, Germany and Algeria.
UBER CUP (WOMEN):
Group D: China, India, France and Germany.
DENMARK OPEN (OCT 13-18) & MASTERS (OCT 20-25)
|Men's squad||Women's squad|
|Kidambi Srikanth||Saina Nehwal|
|Lakshya Sen||PV Sindhu|
|N Sikki Reddy|