While Kidambi Srikanth took the centerstage in 2017 by winning four Super Series titles, a lot of people forgot about the other rising stars in Indian men's badminton. One of them, HS Prannoy has been one of the most consistent performers at the international stage and has been recording some big victories.
It was in the same year – 2017 – that Prannoy recorded victories over both the gold and silver medallists from the 2016 Olympic Games – Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei respectively – at the Indonesian Open. His exploits earned him the most lucrative contract for the 2017 PBL.
In 2018, Srikanth wasn't able to repeat his exploits but Prannoy was able to secure a bronze at the Asian Championships that year. This success didn't lead to further trophies but the 27-year old seems to have got his mojo back at the World Championships currently underway.
His three-game victory over all-time great Lin Dan should not be overhyped. After all, the Chinese player has been struggling in the last couple of years and is clearly on the last legs of his career. Seeded 11, he was always going to be a possible victim of Prannoy. But a leopard doesn't change his spots and it was 1-1 with one game remaining. That's when the boy from Thiruvananthapuram came into his own and thumped the 5-time world champion to secure victory. At the moment, he looks like the biggest hope for a medal for India in the men's singles category.
Sindhu and Saina in action
The third day of the BWF 2019 World Championships would also witness the two queens of Indian badminton – PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal – starting their campaigns. For the former, this is the ultimate test. Her performance this year has been rather disappointing. But her fans would remind everyone that she has an uncanny knack to come good in big tournaments.
Sindhu was the losing finalist in both the last two editions of this event. With last year's victor Carolina Marin out, this year may be the one when she finally crosses the final hurdle. Her first challenge is against Chinese Taipei's Pai Yu Po. This match should be a one-sided affair.
Saina, on the other hand, had a good start to her year. But her form also had dipped. But the Jat girl can never be counted out. Her tenacity and strength, as well as the support of her husband Parupalli Kashyap, can be counted upon to bring out her best. Her first opponent would be Soraya de Visch Eijbergen of Netherlands.
When and where to watch India's matches
The action in the BWF 2019 World Championships on day 3 begins at 9 AM local time and 12:30 PM IST. Both Sindhu and Saina's matches are going to be played on Court 1. Pusarla's match is seventh in order of play while Saina's is 12th. As per the schedule, the match featuring last year's runner-up won't begin before 3:30 PM IST.
The live telecast of the BWF 2019 World Championship is being provided by Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD. For online viewers, Hotstar will have the live streaming of the contests.