In IBL final, second round of Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu
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The IBL is incidental to this plot. Though, having a dozen-strong cheering squad close at hand — ten teammates and two coaches in your corner — is the closest that PV Sindhu or Saina Nehwal will come to finding a cushion against the fear of failure against each other. Others can carry on the war after the second match between Hyderabad Hotshots and Awadhe Warriors — the women's singles — is wrapped up on Saturday. Also Read: Smash-hit Hyderabad Hotshots sail into IBL final
For this pair, the sights are set only on their personal battle.
That isn't to say that who wins the duel will, with certainty, set the tone for the rest of the tie at the NSCI stadium. The all-India men's singles (either K Srikanth or Guru Sai Dutt vs Ajay Jayaram) might yet prove to be the most decisive skirmish of the day, to land either team the title.
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, the Thai singles man with Hyderabad — Saina's contemporary when she won the World juniors and a bit of a showboat — loves the spotlight on himself at all times. Ajay Jayram is tiring of the giant-killer tag and wants to be reliable and consistent now. Also Read: Sindhu's Warriors set IBL final with Saina's Hotshots
And the Warriors' doubles teams, cleverly put together after Danish Mathias Boe trooped in and Markis Kido's regular partner Pia Bernadeth arrived by his side to give the Lucknow team the advantage in the crucial fifth rubber, and an air of invincibility, could in fact render the Sindhu-Saina match as a footnote. There's also the ill-advised plans to get Nehwal to play the mixed doubles, though she's never been at ease sharing the court. Also Read: Work ethic-wise Saina has a huge drive, Sindhu is still a little kid, says Gopichand