Bangkok : HS Prannoy displayed scintillating spirit in the deciding fifth match as the Indian men’s badminton team scripted history by thrashing Denmark 3-2 in a thrilling semi-final to reach the final of the Thomas Cup. The Indian team had never progressed beyond the semi-finals since 1979. But he showed combative spirit, beating 2016 champion Denmark.
World Championship silver medalist Kidambi Srikanth and world No. 8 doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty kept India in the race for the final but HS Prannoy helped the team create history after a 2-2 draw.
Despite his injury, Prannoy continued his game
Against world No. 13 Rosmus Gameke, who sustained an ankle injury after slipping on the court but the Indian continued his fight after taking a ‘medical timeout’. He was seen in pain on the court but despite this trouble, he registered India’s name in the pages of history by registering a 13-21, 21-9, 21-12 victory.
India reached the semi-finals after defeating Malaysia
It was a stellar performance of the Indian team, which ended a 43-year wait on Thursday by defeating five-time champions Malaysia 3-2 to make it to the semi-finals. World Championship bronze medalist Lakshya Sen, however, could not replicate his performance and lost 13-21, 13-21 to Viktor Axelsen as Denmark took a 1-0 lead.
Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pair and Srikanth equalized India
Rankireddy and Shetty won the first doubles match. The Indian pair defeated Kim Astrup and Mathias Christiansen 21-18, 21-23, 22-20 in the second match to level India 1-1. World No. 11 Srikanth then defeated world No. 3 Anders Antonsen 21-18, 12-21, 21-15 to take a 2-1 lead.
Prannoy won the deciding battle
As India’s second doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala lost 14-21, 13-21 to Anders Skarup Rasmussen and Fredrik Sogard. With this both the teams were tied at 2-2. But the experienced Indian Prannoy came back after losing the first game and led his team to victory.