After a shock exit of Parupalli Kashyap from the ongoing World Badminton Championship, the onus falls on the other two remaining singles players in the men's competition from India -- Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy -- to bring glory to their home nation.
Both the shuttlers will be in action on Thursday. Third seed Kidambi Srikanth will square off against 13th seed Hu Yun, which will be an interesting matchup, while HS Prannoy's clash with Viktor Axelsen promises to be an even more interesting affair with both shuttlers having shown some good form during the competition.
Prannoy and Axelsen have looked in relative ease during the world championship so far, but they are aware of the tough match on Thursday with the winner of the clash in all probability set to meet top seed Chen Long from China.
However, Prannoy cannot afford to think of future matches and take one game at a time, especially when the Indian shuttler is talking on a class player in the form of Axelsen. Prannoy has shown some great form in the competition as the shuttler has not dropped a single set in the competition.
Axelsen defeated Petr Koukal and Adrian Dziolko in the first two matches to set up a date with Prannoy, who has defeated Alex Tjong and Edwin Ekiring so far.
Hence, this is the first big test for both the players.
Kidambi Srikanth, who is India's biggest hope for a medal in the world championship for the men's singles, needs to play some good badminton against Hu Yun, who has the ability and the ammunition in his bag of tricks to defeat Srikanth
The third seeded Indian has looked comfortable in all his matches so far, but Hu Yun will prove to be Srikanth's first biggest test. Srikanth, after having won his last two matches with relative ease, will go into the competition as strong favourite against Hu Yun, who had to fight in his last match against Michal Rogalski.
Hu Yun lost a set against Rogalski before setting up a clash with Srikanth. The score read 21-18, 13-21 and 21-13.
Kidambi Srikanth, who has defeated top players in the past such as Lin Dan and Jan O Jorgensen, needs to come up with a class performance in the championship, which houses the best shuttlers from around the world.
Srikanth's rise in the sport of badminton has helped him gain respect from the badminton fraternity and it could even go a notch higher if he finishes with a medal in the competition.
But before anything else, Srikanth needs to focus on his pre quarters clash against Hu Yun.
Where to Watch Live
The World Badminton Championships is scheduled for a 11am local time start (9:30 am IST) and Star Sports 4/HD will offer live coverage for viewers in India with live streaming on starsports.com.
Kidambi Srikanth vs Hu Yun live match is approximately scheduled for 8pmlocal time (6:30pm IST)start, while HS Prannoy vs Viktor Axelsen will start around 6:30 pm local time (5pm IST).
The timings given above depends are subject to change, depending upon earlier matches.
Viewers around the world can follow the game online on Badminton World TV.
Live scorecard of all the matches on the fourth day can be followed here.