Earlier this week, a dream evolved into reality as India drew closer to the seemingly impossible – capturing the ultimate team championship in badminton, the Thomas Cup. Both their coaches in Thailand and in India believed in the team. Indian men’s badminton players know that they have a shot at winning the Thomas Cup This was a date with destiny, meticulously conceived and executed by India’s most underrated sportspeople.
In Sunday’s finals, India defeated Thomas Cup royalty, Indonesia, 3-0. The three players knew this; they said as much; they hoped the country would believe; they didn’t care if it didn’t. They were about to have their date with destiny – regardless of what others predicted. On Sunday, India invited history for a cup of tea, drubbing Thomas Cup royalty, Indonesia, 3-0.
While they failed to win their 15th, they won their first. Lakshya Sen shrugged off a week of beating up from a range of top names to rally from a set down to beat Anthony Ginting 7-21, 21-17, 21-16 thanks to a strong defense that turned into aggressive kills. Lakshya Sen read the tea leaves right, because the badminton fraternity closely observed and shepherded the Indian singles players in the lead up to the NatWest Open last week.
The big man Satwiksairaj brought on his big powerplay to help the week’s hopping Energizer bunny Chirag Shetty, who has been the most optimistic all year. That was the most audacious win of the tie for the Indian doubles team, which beat Md Ahsan – Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19.
The young Indians kept their nerve, played fearless badminton, and displayed their incredible talent as India easily won 21-15, 23-21 Through stellar reflexes at the net and audacious returns at the net, the young Indians gave India the lead The match seemed to ooze class as Kidambi Srikanth played the match of a lifetime against Jonathan Christie, winning 21-15, 23-21.
A classic Kidambi Srikanth shot, an NFT that’s worth a couple thousand dollars a pop, an acrobat’s shot that brought India its unforgettable Thomas Cup triumph No one could stop jumping No one could stop tears from flowing, Srikanth’s shot was priceless in trade currency or bitcoin: the setup smash, the charging follow-up as he ran to the net for matchpoint, a crosscourt smash, a dipping, history demanding, dominating, crosscourt, jump smash from him.