Chennai Smashers had a decent debut in the last edition when they reached the semifinal, where they lost to the eventual winners Delhi Acers. This time, with a star-studded lineup, which includes PV Sindhu, Tanongsak, and Tommy Sugiarto, Chennai are one of the favorites to win the title.
After her heroics at the Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu’s stock price has gone through the roof. The 21-year-old has also broken her Super Series duck by lifting the China Open this year and even avenged her loss against Carolina Marin in the Olympics final by beating her in the Dubai World Superseries. Sindhu has now overtaken Saina Nehwal in the BWF rankings, ending the year at no.6, and will shoulder a lot of responsibility for the Chennai team in this edition.
The Chennai team also features Parupalli Kashyap, who had endured one of the worst seasons of his career in 2016. The 30-year-old missed a big chunk of the year, including the Olympics, after struggling with injuries. Having recovered, the Hyderabad star will look to reestablish himself in the circuit after dropping down to no.62 in the BWF rankings.
Apart from the two Indian stars, the Chennai team also have World no.11 Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and World no.21 Tommy Sugiarto in their ranks. In the doubles team, Sumeeth Reddy will feature in both the men’s doubles matches, while the famous Adcock duo will feature in the mixed doubles. On paper, they look one of the most well-rounded teams in the tournament and are sure to reach the knockouts at the least.
Fixture list -
January 1 – Hyderabad Hunters vs Chennai Smashers
January 3 – Bengaluru Blasters vs Chennai Smashers
January 8 – Delhi Acers vs Chennai Smashers
January 10 – Mumbai Rockets vs Chennai Smashers
January 11 – Awadhe Warriors vs Chennai Smashers
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Thailand), Tommy Sugiarto (Indonesia), Parupalli Kashyap (India), Arundhati Pantawane (India), PV Sindhu (India), Chris Adcock (England), Mads Pieler Kolding (Denmark), Sumeeth Reddy (India), Ramya Tulasi (India) and Gabrielle Adcock (England)