The Indian mens badminton team started its campaign in the Thomas Cup mens team competition with a commanding 5-0 win against the Netherlands in a Group C encounter.

With the team returning to full strength with the return of the top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Kidambi Srikanth back to form following a few disappointments in the Sudirman Cup, India cruised to victory on Sunday night.

Kidambi Srikanth set the ball rolling by handing Joran Kweekel a 21-12, 21-14 defeat in the match played on Sunday night.

Rankireddy and Shetty then took to the court and made the score 2-0 with a 21-19, 21-12 win against Ruben Jille and Ties van der Lecq of the Netherlands.

B Sai Praneeth then sealed victory for India by beating Robin Mesman 21-4, 21-12.’

India’s second doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila, which had a couple of good outings in the recent Sudirman Cup, made it 4-0 with a 21-12, 21-13 win against Andy Buijk and Brian Wassink of the Netherlands before Sameer Verma completed the clean sweep by beating Gijs Duijs 21-6, 21-11.

India are in Group C with China, the Netherlands and Tahiti as their opponents. The top two teams will qualify for the knockout rounds of the 16-team competition.

China too had started with a 5-0 rout of Tahiti on Sunday night.

–IANS

bsk

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