Tasnim Mir stars for the country in the absence of Saina Nehwal.
The Indian women’s badminton team had an excellent second day at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2020. India overcame Scotland 4-1 to secure a quarterfinal berth as the young shuttlers came to the fore. They displayed their talent against a much superior Scottish contingent and guided their team to victory.
Malvika Bansod, who impressed against Spain, succumbed to defeat versus Kristy Gilmour of Scotland. The World No. 26 from Scotland beat the young Indian in commanding fashion. The ranking disparity of 80 places between both players was visible, as Malvika lost 13-21, 9-21 in straight sets.
However, the Indian contingent did not let an early loss get the better of them. Malvika Bansod’s loss served as the turning point for what proved to be an immense comeback from the Indians.
The youngsters’ show
After going 1-0 down to the Scottish, Aditi Bhatt took on Rachel Sugden in the second match of the tie. The promising 18-year-old was untroubled as she surpassed her opponent 21-14, 21-8 with relative ease. Aditi is yet to drop a game in the Thomas and Uber Cup.
The duo of Tanisha Crasto and Rutaparna Panda, ranked 1145 in doubles, also played brilliantly in their match. It was a comfortable 21-11, 21-8 victory for them. They turned the tide of the tie with a big win against a much highly-ranked opponent in Ciara Torrence and Julie Macpherson.
All games aside, it was 16-year-old Tasnim Mir who stole the show on her debut in the tournament. She only got a chance due to Saina Nehwal’s injury on Day 1 and registered a fantastic result to seal the tie for her nation. She beat Lauren Middleton 21-15, 21-6 in comfortable fashion.
Mir’s victory allowed the next Indian doubles pair to play their match without pressure. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, who also made their first appearance of the Thomas and Uber Cup, played out a closely-contested match against Kristy Gilmour and Eleanor O’Donnell. In the end, the Indian pair won the match by 21-9, 19-21, 21-10 in a three-game showdown.
With a quarterfinal berth already sealed, the women’s team will now take on Thailand in the final match of the group stage on Wednesday.