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A new look women's team enter Uber Cup as Asian champions

Although a knockout qualification is unlikely, the recently crowned Asian champions would not back down from a fight in the Uber Cup 2024.

A new look womens team enter Uber Cup as Asian champions

Anmol Kharb (in the middle) won the deciding match in the final of the Badminton Asia Team Championships.


Arjun Mylvahanan

Published: 26 April 2024 5:25 PM GMT

The highly anticipated badminton showdown is set to unravel with the Thomas and Uber Cup 2024 upon the fans. The women's side of things, dubbed The Uber Cup, is set to have some feisty matchups and the Indian contingent onboard has a lot of young faces due to notable absentees.

Stalwarts like P.V Sindhu, duo Ashwini Ponnappa-Tanisha Crasto, and Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand have opted out of the tournament, leaving much of the responsibility on the young star Anmol Kharb, the recently crowned Asian champion.

At just 17 years of age, she has to lead an inexperienced yet immensely talented team in China. Her fellow singles compatriots would be 15-year-old Tanvi Sharma, Ashmita Chaliha, and Isharani Baruah.

The doubles duos comprises of Shruti Mishra-Priya Konjengbam and Simran Singhi-Ritika Thaker.

India has been placed in Group A and will come up against Canada, Singapore, and hosts China to make it to the quarter-finals.

Along with China, defending champions Korea and Japan are strong favorites coming into the Uber Cup, having won 24 of the 29 previous editions amongst them.

Can Anmol stomach the responsibility?

Age is just a number, especially in the case of the rising young badminton sensation Anmol Kharb.

She has shown the ability to perform under pressure, and one needn't look anywhere but the recent Badminton Asia Team Championship 2024, where it was Anmol Kharb who won India the championship by winning the deciding set against Pornpicha Choeikeewong from Thailand.

Not just the final, in the entire tournament, she was tasked with playing the deciding set thrice and she came out victorious on all three occasions, including the final.

Her determination, perseverance, and grit in what was just her first international tournament made it evident that she belonged at this stage.

At the Uber Cup, with the absence of seasoned players, she will have the added responsibility of taking the mantle and leading the young Indian team in a tricky group.

Will inexperience prove fateful?

What the young talents give in the energy, they lack in experience. Especially in such heavy-weight competitions, experience is akin to gold and the lack thereof in this Indian team might leave them a little bit stranded in their quest to make a deep run in the tournament.

With strong contenders all over the park, the absence of Sindhu, Ponappa-Crasto, and Jolly-Gopichand might just prove to be a little too much for the Indian contingent to deal with.

Initially, it was expected that P.V Sindhu would be there to lead the side but her pulling out has weakened the team and has brought down the hopes of a play-off spot. While it can be assured that India will take the fight to its opponents, a knockout qualification would be considered a huge success.

The doubles pairing of Shruti-Priya and Simran-Ritika have done well in recent times and their solidity would be key in helping the likes of Anmol and Ashmita, both of whom were part of the victorious Asia Team Championship.

Having lost the previous edition in the quarterfinals, the hopes of the Indian contingent lie in the hands of a young squad who will no doubt be waiting to defy the odds and surprise us.

There is a famous saying that goes "If not now, then when?, If not you, then who?". That is the message that should reverberate in the ears of the Indian women's team as they embark on this tournament seeking glory against all odds.

If Gukesh can do it at the Candidates, so can these girls.

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