India failed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 Thomas Cup in Bangkok after falling to a 0-5 defeat at the hands of top ranking team China in their final group match.
After a shock 1-4 defeat to France on an opening day, India needed to beat nine-time champions China to stay in contention for the quarter-finals. However, the Indians did not manage to win a single match in the best-of-five tie, despite putting up a valiant fight.
After getting a victory over Australia leading 5-0, the team was full of enthusiasm. The next match of Indian men’s badminton team was led by HS Prannoy and they eventually made an embarrassing exit from the Thomas Cup 2018 after losing by 5-0 to China in the previous evening.
Prannoy vs Chen Long at the Thomas Cup 2018
In the opening men’s singles match, HS Prannoy Indian Badmintion player who is on world number nine was shocked when he faced Chen Long who is a two-time former world champion and Olympic gold medallist, The match was lost in straight set 9-21, 9-21 in a clash which lasted for just 27 minutes.
After losing few points it was clear that HS Prannoy was struggling with his fitness. The 25-year-old Indian had been struggling with foot injuries which he had got in the 2017 season and it appeared that the injury had appeared back.
Prannoy was just not moving properly on the court and that allowed the Chinese to race to a win in just 27 minutes. It wasn’t clear why Prannoy was allowed to take the court when he was clearly carrying an injury.
Arjun and Shlok VS Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan at Thomas Cup
World no 38 Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran, played against world No 3 Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan. It was hardly a match-up on paper but Arjun and Shlok were in no mood to surrender as they gave it their all against the world championship gold medallists, China started leading and encountering as they eliminated the Indian pair of Arjun M.R and Shlok Ramachandran by 21-12, 21-15.
Praneeth VS Shi Yuqi at Thomas Cup
In the third match B Sai Praneeth was facing the world number three Shi Yuqi. The All England champion was, however, in top form in the first game and did not let Sai take any advantage.
The Chinese won all the long rallies with some supreme retrieving and took the first game 21-9, but later our Indian player made him sweat for almost an hour in the second men’s singles clash. He eventually failed to catch up his own pace and he suffered a 9-21, 21-15, 12-21 defeat to his opponent and India bowed down 0-3 to China.
Arun and Sanyam VS Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen
Later, in the second men’s doubles clash Arun George and Sanyam Shukla gave a tough fight to the Chinese team of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen. Sanyam and Arun kept up with Li and Liu right until the latter stages of the first game, but from a 17-15 lead the Chinese pair won four straight points to take the game.
The second game was an even tighter match. Li and Liu went on to hold one match point at 20-19 before the Indians won the next three points off some great rallies. But then eventually the Indian team could not keep up and went down to a defeat by 15-21, 22-20, 15-21.
Final Match against China at Thomas Cup
That left us with the final match, a rematch between two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and one of India’s brightest player in singles who is a teenager, Lakshya Sen. The two had clashed at the New Zealand Open earlier this month, where Lin had to fight back from a game down to beat his teenaged opponent.
Sen’s attack – including his jump smashes and half smashes – and his shot placement is very good, but until he figures out how to stop his opponents from making him run around the court, he won’t stand a chance against the world’s best shuttlers.
Sen won the first two games with ease as he had enough energy in him but he failed to keep the pace and crashed into a defeat by 21-16,8-21, 9-21 against Lin Dan, and China won 5-0 against India.
China and France, thereby, progressed to the quarter-finals. China topped the group after recording 5-0 wins against all three opponents – France, Australia, and India.