The Indian badminton team for next month's Asian Team Championships was announced on Saturday. India Open champion Lakshya Sen is the highest ranked player in the team, while he has several other youngsters like Kiran George, Syed Modi International finalist Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha alongside.
The Asian Team Championships will be held in Shah Alam, Malaysia, from 15 to 20 February 2022. Indonesia and Japan are the defending champions in men's and women's category respectively. The draw for the tournament will held on 8 February.
The new-look team for the continental team championship was chosen giving importance to the performances in the two All India Ranking tournaments played in Chennai and Hyderabad last month, selecting players on the basis of aggregate ranking points scored in the two events.
"We have been considering domestic tournaments for selection for a while now and selecting players in the top-25 world ranking directly. But with most senior players recovering from Covid and injury, it is a good opportunity for us to give the bench strength opportunities to make their mark in the tournament," BAI secretary Ajay Singhania said in a statement.
The men's team had won the bronze medal in the last edition of the tournament in Manila, Philippines while the women's team was withdrawn due to the pandemic as most players were not willing to travel then. The men's doubles charge will be led by Kerala's PS Ravi Krishna and Udaykumar Shankarprasad, who also impressed with their performance against the experienced Malaysian combination of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi at the India Open.
The combination of Simran Singhi and Khushi Gupta along with the experienced Aarthi Sara Sunil and Riza Mahreen would look to make a mark in women's doubles.
Men's singles: Lakshya Sen, Mithun Manjunath, Kiran George, Raghu M
Men's Doubles: PS Ravi Krishna/UdayKumar Shankar Prasad, Amsakarunan Hariharan/Ruban Kumar, Dingku Singh Konthoujam/Manjit Singh Khwairakpam
Women's Singles: Malvika Bansod, Aakarshi Kashyap, Ashmita Chaliha, Tara Shah
Women's Doubles: Simran Singhi/Khushi Gupta, V Nila/Arubala, Aarthi Sara Sunil/Riza Mahreen.