With an eye on the historic medal, the Indian badminton team will begin its campaign at the BWF Sudirman Cup with a blockbuster clash against a formidable Chinese Taipei here on Sunday.
India has always depended on their singles stars to deliver at the team championships and a lot will again ride on them as the country aim to clinch a first-ever medal in the World mixed team championships but this time around, India boasts of formidable doubles pair.
Powered by back-to-back medals in the last two team events, the Indian team first clinched Thomas Cup last year and then secured a bronze medal at Badminton Asia Team Championships.
India has been placed along with Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, and Australia in Group C with the two top teams qualifying for the knockout stage.
The Indian team, which qualified for the prestigious event after claiming bronze at the Asian Badminton Championships in Dubai last month, will have their task cut out when they face a strong Chinese Taipei team, led by Olympic silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying.
With the firepower of youngsters such as Satwik Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty and Treesa Jolly/Gayatri Gopichand, India will depend on the experienced shoulders of PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy.
Assessing India's Group Stage Opponents
Sindhu is expected to face former world no. 1 Tai Tzu, who has proved to be a nemesis for her, having lost 17 times in 22 meetings so far.
The last time Sindhu had defeated the world number 3 was on way to her world championships title in 2019.
World number 9 Prannoy too will face a tough battle as he is likely to be pitted against world number 5 Chou Tien Chen, considered one of the most consistent players in the men's singles competition.
The two have played eight times so far with Chou winning five times. However, Prannoy had success against the Taipei player, having beaten him twice in the last three meetings, all in 2022.
India will also look up to Satwik and Chirag to give them a valuable point, though it is easier said than done as they face Taipei's first Olympic gold medallist in badminton, world number 12 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin.
The two pairs faced off recently at the Asia Championships but the clash ended with the Taipei pair retiring midway due to an injury.
In women's doubles, world number 17 Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand will hope to get across the world number 24 pairing of Lee Chia Hsin and Teng Chun Hsun if they cross swords.
For India, mixed doubles are likely to be the weakest link as Ashwini Ponnappa and K Sai Prateek would be looking to punch above their weight if they come across world number 23 Ye Hong Wei and Lee Chia Hsin.
On Monday, India will clash against Malaysia and it will be a fascinating battle with the likes of world number 8 Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan, Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai and Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing standing on the way.
While Prannoy and Treesa/Gayatri will take inspiration from their recent wins over Lee Zii Jia and Pearly/Thinnah en route to India's 4-1 win over Malaysia at ABC, Satwik, and Chirag will be itching to overturn a dismal 0-7 record against Aaron and Soh.
Sindhu too will hope to keep her stranglehold over Goh Jin Wei.
India's final tie of the group will be on Wednesday against Australia.
India have reached the quarterfinals twice in the 2011 and 2017 editions but haven't crossed the last eight stage. In the last edition at Vantaa, Finland, India couldn't make it to the knockout stage.
Although a lot has changed from the last edition of the Sudirman Cup the Indian badminton team has improved by leaps and bounds in the past two years and is a force to reckon with now.