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High time rest of the world fears India, says Thomas Cup hero HS prannoy


Badminton star HS Prannoy on Monday, May 16 said the historic Thomas Cup victory is dedicated to the next generation of shuttlers, adding that India should go on to dominate the prestigious team championships in the years to come.

Speaking exclusively to India Today, Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai on Monday, May 16, HS Prannoy said the 2022 batch was keen on making sure they did not arrive in Bangkok just to make up numbers but to script history and end the nation’s 73-year-long wait for their maiden Thomas Cup crown.

After Kidambi Srikanth revealed about the WhatsApp group that helped the 10-member team bond and get fired up, Prannoy talked about the importance of having a focal point where they could discuss and review everything related to the sport without any inhibition.

Not many gave India a chance when they arrived in Bangkok last week as the men’s team hadn’t made the semi-finals of the Thomas Cup aftter 1979. However, Prannoy said the current batch was not worried about history but wanted to rewrite it and sow the seeds of belief.

“I think it’s high time the rest of the world fears us, we as a team step up and that’s what we all wanted here and did here From the first day, we just need to project ourselves outside saying that ‘we are not here just to play, we are here to win’. That kind of body language changed the entire approach at the Thomas Cup,” Prannoy said.

“We want to tell our next generation, saying ‘guys, it’s very much possible, if you dream and if you believe’. This is just something else for us,” he added.

India rallied against odds and dethroned 14-time champions Indonesia in the big final on Sunday. India blanked Indonesia 3-0 a day after they stunned European giants Denmark 3-2 after they outclassed 5-time champions Malaysia 3-2 in the quarter-final.

‘NEVER SEEN HIM THIS AGGRESSIVE’

Prannoy said he had not seen Kidambi Srikanth, the former World No. 1, fired up as much as he was over the last 7 days in Bangkok. As Prannoy highlighted, Srikanth was punching the air in delight, roaring after his victroies. The senior man, known for his calm and collective approach, was at his aggressive best, cheering on with rhe rest of the group when he was not in the center of the action.

Srikanth won all his 6 6 matches at the Thomas Cup and, fittingly, it was him who defeated Jonathan Christie in the second singles match and sealed India a 3-0 win over Indonesia in the final.

HS Prannoy was not needed on Sunday but he was the main man, delivering wins in decisive matches agianst Malaysia and Denmark. Lakshya Sen, who had lost to Viktor Axelsen and Lee Jii Zia, delivered when it mattered the most, beating Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ginting to give India 1-0 lead in the final.

“Lakshya Sen had tough matches, but he stepped up at the right time. Yesterday’s match was so crucial, he wanted to win it so badly. we were never afraid of anyone. That’s what we wanted to prove,” Prannoy said.

“Karna hai, is bar jeetna hai. This is what we were telling in the huddle as well. The aggression shown on the court. I am sure you must have not seen Srikanth play with this munch aggression. I have not seen him this aggressive and this passionate in the last 6-7 years. He was in that mood after so many years.

“That gave a lot of energy to the team. The youngsters were looking at him and saying we have to win this for everyone. As senior players, it was our duty to create this atmosphere, when it comes to team events. If we create this atmosphere, we can take on anyone and beat anyone,” he added.



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