PV Sindhu is not playing in the tournament.

The Indian women’s badminton team had a brilliant start to their Thomas and Uber Cup 2020 campaign after defeating Spain in their first group tie. Despite facing a higher-ranked opposition, the Indian shuttlers showed incredible resilience to pull off an upset win.

Things started in disappointing fashion, as star Saina Nehwal struggled in the opening match. She could not finish her match and had to retire at the end of the first game – in which she lost 20-22. With her doing so, Spain took the lead and held an early advantage in the Thomas and Uber Cup tie.

However, the Indian shuttlers struck back with a series of upsets after that. Malvika Bansod produced a cracker of a performance against Beatriz Corrales, defeating her in straight games 21-13, 21-15. This was even more impressive considering the world ranked 104th Bansod played as the underdog against the Spaniard, who is ranked 71st.

Indian shuttles did not lose momentum

The momentum was on India’s side after that and the ladies did not let up. The pair of Tanisha Crasto and Rutaparna Panda – ranked 1146 in the doubles rankings – defeated the much superior Spanish duo of Paula Lopez and Lorena Usle 21-10, 21-8 at the Thomas and Uber Cup.

The Indians started controlling the match from the get-go and outwitted the Spanish women with their aggressive style. Later, promising shuttler Aditi Bhatt picked up a commendable win over Anita Setien with a margin of 21-16, 21-14 – sealing a 3-1 win for India, with a final match to go.

Spain got themselves a consolation towards the end. The duo of Clara Azurmendi and Beatriz Corrales picked up a hard-fought win by the margin of 21-18, 14-21 and 21-17 to finish the tie 3-2.

In the end, India won the Thomas and Uber Cup tie with a  commendable margin of 202-174 to start their campaign on a high note. The Indian women will next face Scotland on Tuesday in their second group stage tie. Another win could help seal a place in the quarterfinals of the Thomas and Uber Cup, before the final group game against Thailand.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.