Hyderabad Hunters

Sindhu Wins the Battle Amidst the Victory of War

By: Venus
Date: 23 Dec, 2018
Image Courtesy: Hyderabad Hunters

Ever since the PBL Season 4 auctions unfolded the only thing the Badminton fans have been waiting for is the PV Sindhu v Carolina Marin clash. While most people expected it to be the first clash of the hugely anticipated Hyderabad-Pune tie, the match was penciled in to be the fourth match, after both of the men’s singles and the doubles match. 

The men's doubles and one of the men's singles were also the trump encounters. So in all fairness, when the draw was made Sindhu v Carolina could well have been the clash to decide the result of the tie, and yet the manner in which the tie unfolded meant that the leading ladies of Hyderabad – a former skipper and a current one, an honorary Hyderabadi and a resident one – came out to a 5 – (-1) advantage in favor of Sindhu.

Hyderabad was ahead and how! Thus far, the tie had been super competitive, and yet Pune had little to show for their efforts. They hadn't just lost three matches on the bounce but were looking at a very realistic possibility of being blanked out on their Premier Badminton League debut. So Carolina, had to win! Not just to give her new team something to cheer, but simply to put them on the scoreboard.

The lopsided scorecard did not mean that Sindhu walked out on to the court without any pressure. Here she was, playing for her legion of Hyderabad fans who simply adored her and treated her nothing less than a princess. The pain of not having her in the team was only masked thus far, by Carolina’s brilliance – something Sindhu would have to overcome.

And thus, walked out, arguably two of Badminton’s biggest stars of the present generation, ready to take court. As they stood courtside to complete their pre-match interviews a commercial break on TV meant, they had to wait for 45 seconds before they could finish the TV tête-à-tête and get to the on-court action.

It was in those 45 seconds you could see both of them pondering over, what were to come. For Hyderabad, the war had been won, but Sindhu had a personal battle to conquer. And for Marin, her team may have lost the war, but winning the battle was much needed to inject belief, pride and a sense of belonging into her new team.

First game of the match and Carolina clearly had the upper hand. A couple of unforced errors, a misjudged line-challenge and some brilliance stroke play from Carolina put the game past Sindhu. Carolina had smelt blood in the first game and was ready to move in for the kill in the second one. At the interval, egged on by her coaches, there was a change in strategy and Sindhu came out all guns blazing in the second game.

Before the crowd or Carolina could get their act together in the second game, she was up 5-0 and refused to let go of the advantage. The second game Sindhu was far more aggressive, purposeful and totally went for her shots. Every point swelled her confidence and she looked more sublime the longer the match went.

Second game wrapped up in a jiffy. The third game was to be the decider. Sindhu remained ahead but Marin was always in the hunt. At 13-13 it might have been anyone’s game but Sindhu held her nerve to take the game and the match, and of course the bragging rights 11-15 15-8 15-13.

Sindhu had won. And Sindhu had won for Hyderabad.

She knew, that even if all other matches were won, the airwaves would be dominated by conversations of her match with Marin. There was too much riding on this encounter – the first match of PBL, former skipper v current skipper of Hyderabad, Carolina to showcase what Hyderabad was going to miss, and Sindhu to exhibit what she had to bring for the Hunters fans!

A Battle Royale, indeed!

And the princess of Hyderabad – PV Sindhu –did it! With panache and aplomb!

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