The Thomas Cup in Badminton is similar to what the Cricket World Cup is to Cricket and the FIFA World Cup is to Football. It is the Multi nation team tournament that has been held for both the Men and Women and it has been going on for the last 73 Years and this current one was the 32nd Edition of the Thomas Cup and it was held at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand from 8th May till 15th May and I have to say that the Indian team left a massive impact forever.
What the Indian team did in this tournament is the stuff dreams are made of and our boys have finally arrived in Badminton after the ladies have dominated all these years and now both of them can win more laurels for India. We will talk about the campaign in some detail before but i just want to say as an Indian that seeing Kidambi Srikanth win the final point yesterday evoked an emotion in me that only came after the 2011 World Cup. I would like to mention all the heroes first before I write about the results –
· Lakshya Sen- Men’s Singles
· Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty – Men’s Doubles
· Kidambi Srikanth- Men’s Singles
· Arjun MR and Dhruv Kaplia- Men’s Doubles
· HS Prannoy- Men’s Singles
· Krishna Prasad Ganga and Vishnuvardhan Goud- Men’s Doubles
· Priyanshu Rajawat- Men’s Singles
India vs Germany – 5-0
In the first group match of the tournament India faced Germany and they beat the German team 5-0 with all our players winning their respective Matches. Lakshya Sen was clinical as he beat his opponent in 2 games and then Satwik and Chirag took 3 games to win the doubles match and then Kidambi Srikanth and the other players won their respective Matches to give India a win.
India vs Canada – 5-0
In the second match of the group India faced Canada and yet again they won 5-0 without losing a match and here first Kidambi Srikanth won his match to give India the lead and then Satwik and Chirag won their doubles match in another 3 setter and then it was the turn of New players such as Krishna Prasad and Vishnuvardhan to show their prowess as they beat their opponents as well and HS Prannoy was lethal in his match. Finally Priyanshu Rajawat gave India a 5-0 win.
India vs Chinese Taipei – 2-3
This is the only match that India lost in the tournament and it came at the right time just before the knockouts as India had already qualified for the Quarter final of the Thomas Cup but still Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy were amazing in this match as they gave 2 points to India and a close match was lost .
India vs Malaysia – 3-2
Going into this match Malaysia were expected to win and almost no one gave India a chance but as Justin Langer once said “Never Ever Underestimate The Indians “ and the Malaysian team learned it the hard way. Lakshya Sen lost the first match but it was again Satwik and Chirag who brought India back into the contest with a great 3 games win in the doubles and then Kidambi Srikanth made it 2-1 for India with an emphatic win over his opponent and it was at 2-2 when HS Prannoy went to play and he absolutely decimated his opponent to give India a 3-2 win and a first ever medal at the Thomas Cup but India wanted to go all the way.
India vs Denmark – 3-2
This was the biggest stage in Indian badminton and the composure that the boys showed was commendable. Lakshya Sen lost his match again but again Satwik and Chirag were the saviors as they made it 1-1 after their doubles win and then Kidambi Srikanth won his match in a 3 game thriller and again it was HS Prannoy who had to script history and he did it while falling down bad and coming back from being a game down to demolish his opponent and take India to a historic first Thomas Cup final against 14 time Winners Indonesia.
India vs Indonesia – 3-0
To do this to the greatest team in badminton and to win the Thomas Cup for the first time in such style is one of the greatest sporting moments I have ever had the pleasure of watching live. Lakshya Sen redeemed himself and how as he won an improbable match after being 1 game down and he won the next 2 games by 21-17 and 21-16. Then our doubles heroes did something that no one expected then to do and that is to beat the mighty Indonesian pair after being 1 game down and in the 2nd game they saved 4 match points and won by 23-21 and the 3rd gaon by 21-19. Then Kidambi Srikanth had the weight on his shoulders of winning the Gold and he did in 2 games when he beat Jonatan Christie 21-15 and 23-21 to win the Gold medal and become only the 6th nation to win the Thomas Cup in 73 Years.
This is to Badminton what 1983 was to Cricket and maybe more and I am sure more young badminton players will see this and want to be there doing it themselves for India in the future.