Hyderabad: It will be a sort of homecoming for star shuttler PV Sindhu when she dons the colours of Hyderabad Hunters in their second match of the Premier Badminton League against 2016 champions Chennai Smashers at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
The Hunters ticked all the boxes in their opening encounter against Pune 7 Aces when they won 6-(-1). Fresh from World Tour Finals win, Sindhu will be locking horns against her former PBL team which she led to victory in 2016. The World No. 3 Sindhu will be up against her replacement — World No 8 Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea, another PBL veteran who beat Sindhu in the Hong Kong Open last month.
The ace shuttler started off impressively this season with a thumping victory against World No. 5 Carolina Marin. Asked if the home support would come in hand, Sindhu said, the Hunters always count on the crowd support and expect yet another good game. “I will be playing for my own city Hyderabad for the first time and it is special as well as very emotional for me,” Sindhu added.
Hunters is playing with experienced shuttlers such as Lee Hyun II, Mark Caljouw, Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won while Indian shuttlers Meghna Jakkampudi, Sai Uttejitha Rao and Rahul Yadav are also expected to play a major role for the side.
On the other hand, Parupalli Kashyap has his task cut out as the Chennai mashers would want to upset all calculations of the home team. “Hyderabad Hunters are one of the strongest teams this season and they have come here with a win already in their bag. In the last few days, we have trained well and are looking forward to the opening night,” said Kashyap.
The Smashers will rely heavily on Kashyap and B Sumeeth Reddy and also pin hopes on World No.10 women’s doubles player Gabrielle Adcock. The Hyderabad leg of Season 4 will end on December 28. Tuesday’s match will start at 7 pm
Squad: Hyderabad Hunters: PV Sindhu (women’s singles), Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka (women’s singles), Lee Hyun Il (men’s singles), Mark Caljouw (men’s singles), Rahul Yadav (men’s singles), Kim Sa Rang (doubles), Eom Hye Won (doubles), Meghana Jakkampudi (doubles).
Chennai Smashers: Sung Ji Hyun (women’s singles), Saili Rane (women’s singles), Parupalli Kashyap (men’s singles), Rajiv Ouseph (men’s singles), Chong Wei Feng (men’s singles), Chris Adcock (doubles), Gabrielle Adcock (doubles), B Sumeeth Reddy (doubles), Rutaparna Panda (doubles), Or Chin Chung (doubles).