Hyderabad: India completed a 3-2 win over China in the men’s category of the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Despite losing their two men’s doubles matches, India’s three men’s singles shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram and H.S. Prannoy brought brilliance to the home team after winning their respective matches.
In the first men’s singles match, India’s captain Kidambi Srikanth swiftly took first blood in favor of the host when he outclassed China’s Houwei Tian 21-11, 21-17.
However, it was a disappointment for India when their first men’s doubles pair Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy lost to China’s Junhui Li-Zihan Qiu 20-22, 11-21.
Then, the World No. 25 Ajay Jayaram put up a spirited show to edge past China’s World No. 11 Wang Zhengming 22-20, 15-21, 21-18 to put India ahead with 2-1.
“I feel great to be able to beat a higher ranked Chinese player,” Jayaram said after the win.
China leveled the score to 2-2 after their second men’s doubles pair Wang Yilv/Zhang Wen overcame Pranaav Jerry Chopra-Akshay Dewalkar 21-10, 21-18.
India’s H.S. Prannoy, ranked World No. 27, used all his extraordinary arsenal of shots to win the third and decisive point for India as he converted the third men’s singles match into his favor by beating Shi Yuqi of China 21-14, 21-10.
The victory was a historic win for India, as India’s men’s team has never beat China in a team event.
India’s chief coach Pullela Gopichand couldn’t hide his joy and enthusiasm after the historic moment and said: “I am extremely happy and thrilled to see our men team pull off a superb victory over China. I am confident our team will maintain the same tempo and momentum throughout the tournament.”
The Indian men’s team will play Malaysia in the knockout stage on Friday.
Following is Friday’s draw for the knockout stage:
Malaysia vs. India
Hong Kong vs. Indonesia
Korea vs. China
Japan vs. Chinese Taipei
Malaysia vs. Thailand
Chinese Taipei vs. Japan
Korea vs. India
China vs. Indonesia