India's hopes of progressing at the ongoing Sudirman Cup 2021 are over after losing to Thailand (4-1) and China (5-0) respectively. Only the doubles pair of Arjun MR and Dhruv Kapila have won a match for India till now, against Thailand's Supak Jomkoh and Kittinupong Kedren.
Premier men's shuttler Kidambi Srikanth made a comeback in this competition after a length layoff but fell to Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn in straight sets (21-9, 21-19). However, India shuttler HS Prannoy stood beside his compatriot and felt that fine margins decided the tie against Srikanth.
"Srikant played really well in the second game and it was a close call. If he had managed to take that match to the third game then the outcome could have been different. You have to also understand that If we are up 2-0 in the series then it becomes much easier to play. Srikanth came in at a must-win situation and that involves more pressure. The same thing happened with Sai (Praneeth) against China," expressed Prannoy to Olympics.com after India's lacklustre performances in Finland.
Arjun and Dhruv also came close to beat their Chinese opponents as well but fell short in both the games as they lost 22-20, 21-17 to Liu Cheng and Zhou Haodong.
"The start was good from the boys (against China as well). Dhruv and Arjun had been playing a lot of super series in the last year and that experience helped them. But unfortunately, we do not have Saina (Nehwal) and (PV) Sindhu to keep that momentum going which we gained after beating Thailand. We are also out of our first choice mixed doubles and men's doubles team. That made a difference," Prannoy stated.
Youngsters like Malvika Basnod and Aditi Bhat went up against celebrated players like Pornpawee Chochuwonga and reigning Olympic champion Chen Yufei respectively and although both of them were decimated, Prannoy feels that these matches were their baptism by fire.
"Aditi played against Chen Yufei and she learnt what are the things that she needs to work upon to be the number one and what it takes to play a super series event. I hope they capitalise on these experiences in the next few years. Yes, results are disappointing but there are a lot of positives to take from these events," he remarked.
India will be taking the court once again on Tuesday to lock horns against Finland and the Asian Championship bronze medallist feels India will perform better.
"I think Finland should be a bit easier than China. Although the men's team event will be a bit tricky. Other than that it is going to be relatively easier. Let's hope that they can bounce back stronger," he concluded.