After spearheading India to a historic Thomas Cup victory, Kidambi Srikanth shed light on the happy team environment that propelled them to clinch glory in Bangkok, Thailand. Srikanth was instrumental in helping India end their 73-year-long wait for the Thomas Cup crown as India rallied against odds to stun powerhouses of world badminton.
Speaking to the BWF after India’s historic victory over Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final, Srikanth revealed details about a ‘little dramatic’ moment in the lead up to the prestigious team championships. India hammered 14-time champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final, dethroning the Asian powerhouses for their first-ever title.
Young Lakshya Sen, SatwiksairajRankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Srikanth won their respective matches as India did not need the second doubles and the last singles match.
“This might sound a little dramatic. But you know, when I was in Korea for the Korea Masters, and the following week we had selection trials immediately after those trials, when the team got announced, we created a (WhatsApp) group titled ‘We’ll Bring It Home’, or something like that.
“This happened a week before the tournament started. So yeah we always thought we are capable, but we only had to be consistent. Coming here, it was a fantastic team and we had great atmosphere. We were a happy team, and we were really supporting each other and backing each other,” Srikanth told BWF.
The bond between the players in the Indian squad, which was a fine mix of youth and experience, was evident as they rallied behind each other during pressure situations, especially in the knockout stages wherein they ousted 5-time champions Malaysia and European giants Denmark.
The chants of ‘HSP, HSP’ from the Indian camp on the sidelines when HS Prannoy was taking on the opposition in the deciding matches in the quarter-final and semi-final victories told the story. The way every shuttler in the camp celebrated each other’s success was delightful to see.
It was evident when the honour of receiving the Thomas Cup during the victory ceremony on Sunday went to one of the youngest member of the squad, Priyanshu Rajawat.
‘HAPPY TO HAVE CONTRIBUTED’
Srikanth, who had a dip in form after a record-equalling season in 2017 wherein he rose to the No. 1 spot in the men’s singles rankings, missed out on a berth at the Tokyo Olympics. However, the senior shutter has found form, winning a silver at the World Championships earlier this year and following it up with the prestigious Thomas Cup gold medal.
Shedding light on the achievement, Srikanth said he is happy to have contributed to one of the biggest moments of Indian badminton. Srikanth did not lose a single match as he ended the Thomas Cup campaign 6-0 in Bangkok.
“I’m very happy. Every win, every achievement has its own uniqueness. India has never won the Thomas Cup before this. Now to be part of a team that has won the Thomas Cup and to contribute to the team’s win gives me a lot of happiness.
“Every time you contribute to the team’s win you get a different feeling, especially in a final. I’m happy that throughout this tournament I could win my matches and give those crucial points to the team.”