After Malaysia defeated both South Korea and India in their round robin matches in the ongoing Sudirman Cup 2015, they have sealed their quarter-finals berth from Group 1D.
Hence, it is a do-or-die situation for India and Korea when they go head-to-head against one another on Wednesday. The winner of this round robin clash will progress to the knockout stage as second team from the group.
The Indians have their task cut out against one of the most successful teams in the competition, as the Koreans have won the title three times so far. Despite being defeated by Malaysia, they are one of the favourites to lift the title.
But, with players such as Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, India have it in them to script a win over the Koreans. Saina Nehwal will always be a favourite to win her singles clash against world no. 7 Sung Ji Hyun, but the team needs to find two more victories to grab that elusive spot in the quarter-finals.
India will look upon the services of Srikanth in the men's singles, as he is expected to face world no. 5 Wan Ho Son, and the clash between the two is expected to be an entertaining one.
Srikanth might have come second best against former world number 1 Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia in the first game, but the Indian can defeat the Korean, if he plays the way he has been playing of late, winning titles as well.
But all eyes will be on India's G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa, who will represent India in the women's doubles, as they face No. 8 pair of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan. The Indian pair was a major highlight against Malaysia, as they put up an amazing performance to tie the series (against Malaysia) at 2-2, before India's mixed doubles team failed in the decider.
It would be too huge a task for the men's doubles team of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy from India to defeat World No. 1 Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong from Malaysia. The same can be said for India's mixed doubles pairing of N. Sikki Reddy and Arun Vishnu as they lack experience playing together on such a big stage.
Hence, India's chances of qualifiying in the knockout phase depends on primarily three matches – men's and women's singles, along with women's doubles.
Will the players rise to the occasion?
The question will be answered in a few hours from now.
Where to Watch Live
Sudirman Cup 2015 live coverage of India-Korea clash starts at 1pm local time (10:30am IST, 1am ET, 6am BST) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD.
Viewers in India can stream it live on starsports.com