India’s men’s badminton team on Sunday lifted their maiden Thomas Cup title with a commanding 3-0 win over Indonesia at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth and doubles players Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy notched up wins as the Indian camp stunned the 14-time champions to win the prestigious team championship for the first time ever.
India, who had not even reached the last-four stage since 1979, defeated Malaysia and Denmark before dishing out a complete performance in the summit clash. In the second singles, Kidambi Srikanth outclassed Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie 21-15 23-21 in 48 minutes to seal the historic victory.
India have become only the sixth team in the history of the elusive competition. As Srikanth claimed the championship point, the Indian camp rushed to the court in no time. The players and support staff were seen chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai‘ as they etched their names into history books.
Earlier, young Lakshya Sen powered India to a 1-0 lead with a come-from-behind 8-21 21-17 21-16 win over world number five Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Rankireddy and Shetty then showed nerves of steel as they saved four match points in the second game to defeat Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21 23-21 21-19.
In the second singles, Srikanth played a measured game and take an attacking approach when needed. The seasoned India shuttler claimed a championship point with a smash and sealed it with another cracking high-jump shot. It was followed by the entire squad running across the court and jumping in joy.
“Being 3-4 points down didn’t matter because I knew I was going to play from the better end and I can open up and he will be under pressure,” said Sen after the tie.
“This one is for the team they have been backing me throughout. I have played well but not got the results. I’m happy that I pulled the first set for the team,” he added.