NAGPUR: Flush with success in the Korea Open on Sunday, in-form PV Sindhu faces another Japanese challenge in the Japan Open which gets underway in Tokyo on Tuesday.
After avenging the World Championship final defeat to Nozomi Okuhara in the Seoul final, fourth seed Sindhu will have to negotiate two tricky Japanese girls in the initial rounds.
The Glasgow silver medallist will need to be at her best to first get past world No. 19 Minatsu Mitani in the first round.
The tall Hyderabadi will then again run into Okuhara in second round if she overcomes the 26-year-old Mitani.
Mitani was a former top-10 player, having reached world No. 9 ranking in 2013. So far, it's 1-1 between them. Twenty-two-year old Sindhu won the last encounter between them at Macau Open in 2015.
Recovering from a slight thigh strain, Saina Nehwal is also in the bottom half of the draw as Sindhu. The former world No.1 will lock horns with Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong. Saina has a 2-0 record against Chochuwong, who's world No.25.
World No.12 Saina had defeated the Thai girl twice this year including a straight-game win over the teenager in India Open in March. Earlier in January, Saina had also grounded her in the final of the Malaysia Masters.
All the Indian men's singles players have a tough draw and will have to play out of their skins to make a mark. Kidambi Srikanth will take on Tian Houwei, world No.10 in the opener.
The 24-year-old Srikanth has a poor record against the Chinese. "I know the draw is tough. I think I need to be at my 100% in every match. I want to focus round by round and am not thinking too far ahead. I deliberately skipped Korea Open last week as I wanted to train hard for this tournament. I have prepared well and am looking forward to performing well," said Srikanth after Monday's practice session in Tokyo.
Srikanth's practice partner at the Pullela Gopichand Academy, HS Prannoy will square off against Denmark's Anders Antonsen. "It will be our first meeting on the international circuit. I have a tough first round and overall the field is quite strong," said Prannoy.
Former National champion Sourabh Verma drew Lin Dan in the first round. Sourabh's younger brother Sameer and B Sai Praneeth will meet qualifiers in the first round.
Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap will have to qualify for the main draw. He will face Denmark's Emil Holst on Tuesday.
There are several Indian doubles pairs in the fray but they are not expected to make big inroads in the tournament.
Australia captain Steve Smith admitted they let the match slip after a great start that saw India reeling at 87/5 at one time. Eventually, India beat Australia by 26 runs (D/L method) to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series in Chennai on Sunday. (Highlights) (Scorecard)
“It wasn’t ideal that we weren’t able to capitalise on what was a very good start. That partnership turned out to be match-winning. MS (Dhoni) and Hardik (Pandya) played very well and obviously the rain came. It was never going to be easy chasing 160 with the new balls. We could have perhaps played a little bit differently and tried to take a little bit more time upfront,” Smith said after the loss.
The Australia skipper didn’t think opening with debutante Hilton Cartwright was a gamble despite effectively playing a Twenty20 instead of 50 overs.
“I did think about it (changing the order). But I thought it was a good opportunity for Hilton Cartwright to get into the game. It was probably the hardest time to bat with the new ball. It didn’t come off tonight,” he said.
Smith said chasing 164 with one ball --- like in a proper Twenty20 --- as opposed to new balls from both ends could have made the chase easier.
“When you have two new balls from both ends, as you saw (during) the whole game, they found it hard. It was the same for us. You don’t have a great deal of time to make things up. Perhaps we could have been a little bit more defensive at the start and go a bit harder,” he said, adding that the 118-run partnership between Dhoni and Pandya changed the game. “They put a 120 odd and took them from 87 to 206. In the end, that proved to be a match-winning partnership.”
“We started very well with the new ball. I had my plan to begin with Coulter-Nile and finish with (Pat) Cummins. But when they lost Hardik, I thought Nathan could have come back and I wanted to go for the throat. Obviously MS (Dhoni) hit Jimmy (James Faulkner) pretty well in the end, wasn’t ideal but that’s cricket. MS is a quality player and dangerous at the end. We have got to be a bit better with our plans,” said the Australia captain.
Smith didn’t feel they had overlooked the effect Indian pacers could have on the match.
Australia flew in Kerala chinaman KK Jiyas to help them prepare against Kuldeep Yadav. Yet it didn’t have any bearing on the match as Yadav got the vital breakthrough in the form of the dangerous David Warner. Pandya too took the vital wickets of Smith and Travis Head.
“We certainly haven’t been focusing only on wrist-spin. We have been facing fast bowlers and other net bowlers. India have some quality seamers as well,” he concluded.
PV Sindhu vs He Bingjiao Live Badminton Score, Korea Super Series Live: Catch the live score of PV Sindhu vs He Bingjiao from Korea Super Series here. Live Korea Super Series PV Sinshu up against He Bingjiao.
PV Sindhu is India’s lone contender left in the Korean Super Series badminton tournament. The world number four will face China’s He Bingjiao in the semi-final and can book a spot in the final against Nozomi Okuhara, her opponent from the World Championships final in Glasgow just two weeks ago. Sindhu, who has an Olympic and Worlds silver medal, had a tough challenge in the quarter-final where she faced world number 19 Minatsu Mitani of Japan. The Indian managed to beat her 21-19 16-21 21-10 in a match that lasted 63 minutes. But this can be another tough game against the Chinese opponent. Catch the Live Score of PV Sindhu vs He Bingjiao from Korean Super Series here
PV Sindhu vs He Bingjiao Live Badminton Score, Korea Super Series Live
10:45 am IST: Sindhu lost to Okuhara in the final of World Championships in Glasgow but has been in good form since then
10:15 am IST: The mixed doubles match between China and Indonesia is the final match before PV Sindhu takes court against China
10:00 am IST: Nozomi Okuhara has booked her spot in the final of Korea Super Series with a win over Akane Yagamuchi. She wins 21-17 21-18
09:45 am IST: Another title in sight for PV Sindhu. She is into the semi-final of Korea Super Series and faces He Bingjiao. The Indian is 3-5 in head-to-head against Chinese but is currently in top form. A final against Nozomi Okuhara awaits
With the three-match T20I series levelled up, Pakistan will square off against World XI in the third and the final time in the Independence Cup. Pakistan is hosting an international event after a period of eight years.
Pakistan’s continuous efforts to bring back international cricket to the country has awarded them a three-match T20I series against the World XI. After winning the first match by 20 runs, hosts suffered a seven-wicket defeat in the second T20I as Thisara Perera’s unbeaten 47 helped the visitors level the series 1-1 before a packed Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. With 172 runs, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik became Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in the shortest format. After hosting two matches, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed a three-match T20I home series against West Indies and a lone T20 against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, PCB chief Najam Sethi has also said that they have requested Cricket South Africa to send their team for a bilateral home series in Pakistan.
When is Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international?
The Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international will be played on Friday, September 15, 2017. This will be the third and the final match of the Independence Cup. The series is levelled 1-1 after the visitors won the second match by seven wickets.
Where is the Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international of Independence Cup?
Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international of Independence Cup will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. This is the same stadium which has hosted the first two matches between the two sides.
What time does the Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international begin?
The first ball in Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international of Independence Cup, will be bowled at 1930 hrs IST (07:30 PM IST) on Friday. That makes it 07:00 local time start. Toss will be conducted half an hour prior to the first ball – 07:00 PM IST.
Which TV channel will telecast Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international live?
Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international of Independence Cup will broadcast live on DSports from 07:30 PM IST.
How do I live stream Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international?
You can follow Pakistan vs World XI 3rd T20 international with scores and commentary on IndianExpress.com.
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