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Sudirman Cup: India shuttlers take on Malaysia, eye knockout stage

NANNING (China): India will start as favourites against a young Malaysian crew sans legend Lee Chong Wei when they conflict in a group 1D fit of the Sudirman Cup here on Tuesday.

India, who had reached the quarterfinals twice in 2011 and 2017 editions, will have to overcome Malaysia, the 2009 semifinalists, when they start their campaign. Any hiccups against Malaysia will make their next conflict against the mighty China a must-win struggle.

Malaysia have been thrashed 0-Five by China in the opening fit and a loss against India will see them bow out of the competition.

The 13-member Indian crew, seeded 8th this time, will look to draw inspiration from their sensational win over Malaysia en path to an extraordinary crew gold on the Commonwealth Games 2018.

India's probabilities during the combined crew championship depends on the standard singles avid gamers comparable to reigning BWF World Tour Finals winner PV Sindhu, 2019 Indonesia Masters champion Saina Nehwal, 2019 India Open finalist Kidambi Srikanth and BWF World Tour Finals semi-finalist Sameer Verma.

Malaysia shall be led by Goh Jin Wei and Soniia Cheah in girls's singles, whilst Lee Zii Jia shall be entrusted with the duty in men's singles in the absence of Chong Wei, who remains to be recovering from nostril cancer.

While India hang the edge in both, given the best way Soniia stretched All England Championship Chen Yufei on Sunday, it's going to be attention-grabbing to peer who India will make a selection to field between World No. Five Sindhu or Saina, ranked 9th.

Srikanth has constantly reached the quarters but struggled to head beyond in 11 of his ultimate 13 tournaments. He had a runner-up finish on the India Open and is expected to carry the edge against Zii Jia.

Malaysia will need their doubles to position up a excellent efficiency to salvage hopes of creating it to the knockout level.

Malaysia noticed some promising performances this year from Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik and Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in men's doubles, Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean in girls's doubles and Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai and Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing in combined doubles.

For India the return of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy after an damage gap will gasoline India's hopes in both men's doubles and combined doubles.

Satwik, who recovered from a shoulder damage to make a title-winning comeback on the Brazil International Challenge not too long ago, will form a formidable men's doubles pair with Chirag Shetty, whilst pairing with the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa in combined doubles.

If India can quell the Malaysian challenge, they are able to pass with a at ease mind against the 10-time champions China on Wednesday.

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