All set to spearhead India's campaign in the upcoming Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championships slated to be held in Australia, ace shuttler PV Sindhu is confident of a good show by the team.
"I think we have a good chance, it's a mixed team event so girls and boys both have to perform well. We are playing Indonesia and Denmark, so I hope we can win," Sindhu said on Saturday after being conferred with the honorary life membership of the Cricket Club India.
India, ranked ninth, is placed in Group 1D with Denmark and Indonesia in the preliminary stage of the competition, scheduled from 21-28 May. The team had finished ninth in the previous edition of the championships.
India will depend a lot on the world fourth-ranked Rio Olympic Games silver medallist in the event, from which another top woman shuttler and London Games bronze medal winner, Saina Nehwal, has pulled out due to family reasons.
Since only one woman could play as it's a mixed team event, Sindhu said Saina's absence should not be an issue.
"Yes, Saina isn't playing, but when it comes to one singles and doubles only one player is required, so that shouldn't be any issue," said the 21-year-old shuttler, after having interacted with the CCI badminton-playing children at the club's courts earlier.
Sindhu has slipped down from the world number two ranking she achieved after winning the Indian Open, and is eager to move up the ladder.
"Currently, I'm fourth (ranked) and I expect to see myself in top three by the end of the year,"
"But I have already been in top two so I would definitely like to see myself as world number one, but before that, I think you have to play well and if you do that the ranking will automatically come," she said.
On current number one Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese-Taipei, whom she had beaten on way to the silver medal in Rio, Sindhu said, "We haven't played much recently. The last was Rio and All England. So I haven't faced her recently."
"But she is winning a lot of matches and doing well for herself. But when it comes to me playing against her, I feel it's going to be a good match," she said.
Asked about the high points for her after winning the silver in Rio, the lanky shuttler said, "Winning China Open and Indian Open. I had always wanted to win a Super Series (event) and by fulfilling that I feel very happy and it gives me a lot of confidence."
"After the Olympics, I've seen a lot of change, kids picking up badminton and also then a lot of academies have come up.
"So, it's a good sign and badminton as a sport is getting much more encouragement," she said when asked about the changes she had seen in the shuttle game after her historic silver medal winning effort at Rio.
Earlier during her interaction with the younger lot of club players, Sindhu evoked admiration when she said that she trained daily for 7-8 hours.
She also said that players can learn a lot after losing a game by thinking back to the match and pinning down the errors they had made.
"When I lose a point I don't think about it (at that stage) as thinking over it would make you lose the next 2-3 points," Sindhu said.
Updated Date: May 14, 2017 14:38 PM