Asian Games champion Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s bid for the fourth BWF title of the season failed as they lost to China’s world No. 1 pair of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang in three games in the double's final at the China Masters badminton tournament in Shenzhen on Sunday.
India Captain and ace drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh says that playing against top European teams in the FIH Hockey pro league has been a good learning experience and that will “help us in preparing for the Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games.”
For Harmanpreet led Squad it was a mixed result in their recent Europe outing where they won four out of the eight matches played over a span of two weeks in the y Pro League. India lost 1-2 and won 5-1 against Belgium, while they lost 2-4 and won 4-4 (4-2) in the shootout against Great Britain. In the doubleheader against Argentina, India won 3-0 and 2-1, while the team lost 1-4 and 2-3 against the Netherlands.
Talking about their outings in London and the Netherlands respectively, Harmanpreet said, “Overall, I think it was a good outing. Playing away games against top sides is always challenging and I think we lived up to the billing.”
The Men in Blue finished their campaign as provisional table toppers with 30 points from 16 matches. This was also the team’s first outing under new Chief Coach Craig Fulton. “Craig brings a lot of positivity into the team and he is very clear in his thoughts and expectations on how we must play as a team. In these matches, the focus was more on executing a disciplined structure in our game, with emphasis on defending well,” he opined.
The team is currently on a break, and they will start preparing for the Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai once the training camp resumes. “There were a number of takeaways from the matches in Europe. We conceded goals from the touchline and that needs to be fixed. There is also work to be done on converting the chances we create in the D.”
“While playing top European teams is always a good learning experience, we will now focus on bringing our best game to the fore against top Asian sides in the Asian Champions Trophy and Asian Games,” The captain added
For now, Harmanpreet is enjoying this short break as it’s special with his new-born daughter. “It is a very joyous atmosphere back home with my daughter born on 10th June. I am enjoying this new responsibility and making the most of this break by spending time with her,” he added.