The Awadhe Warriors will look to bounce back to form when they take on the Mumbai Rockets on the final day of their home leg at the Premier Badminton League 2020 at the Babu Banarasi Das Badminton Academy here in Lucknow tomorrow. With both teams coming off a loss in their last tie, it will be a stern test of hunger and nerves for both.
The blue brigade will hope to bank on the crowd support after suffering a 1-2 loss at the hands of Hyderabad Hunters on Republic Day.
Having begun their campaign on a high with a gritty 4-3 victory over the North Eastern Warriors, the Awadhe team was aiming to continue their winning streak but the Hunters proved too strong. World champion PV Sindhu combined with Sourabh Verma as well as the mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Vladimir Ivanov to dash the hopes of the hosts.
Despite the outcome not going their way, the Awadhe Warriors definitely had a few positives coming out of the match. Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol’s partnership is growing stronger day by day. The pair, who won three BWF titles last year, has taken their confidence into the league and remains unbeaten so far. Former World No. 10 Wong Wing Ki Vincent gave an effortless display in front of the roaring home fans while Subhankar Dey’s stamina and tenacity impressed one and all.
The Awadhe also has the World No. 14 Beiwen Zhang in their ranks, who lost her solitary PBL5 encounter to Michelle Li of the North Eastern Warriors. Rejuvenated after a rest, the American star would be ready to grab her first win when she takes the court.
“Our last match did not go our way but that hasn’t dampened our spirit. The crowd support here has been fantastic. We are looking forward to finishing our home leg with a win,” said Zhang.
Mumbai Rockets will be gunning for their first victory of the season after a disappointing start for the former runners-up that saw them lose to the high-flying Chennai Superstarz and the Pune 7 Aces. In their two outings so far, they have accumulated three wins through the men’s doubles combine of Kim Gi Jung and Kim Sa Rang, men’s singles exponent Lee Dong Keun and rising women’s singles star Shriyanshi Pardeshi.
2014 Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap’s performance has stood out in spite of the former World No. 6 not able to stitch together a win. A tight three-game loss to the 2014 World Championships bronze medallist Tommy Sugiarto was followed by a close defeat to Pune’s World No. 36 Loh Kean Yew. The Rockets would be looking upto the 2019 Canada Open runner-up to help them to turn around their fortunes.
“Despite our initial setbacks, the Trumps so far have been winning matches for us. That is one key point which we’ll work on as we look to get our first win,” said the World No. 25.