JBS Vidyadhar was the surprise inclusion in the Indian badminton team for the Doha Asian Games to be held from November 30 to December 9.
Announcing the team, Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary LC Gupta said that Vidyadhar’s name was included in the team since V Diju, one of the top three doubles specialists in the country, has decided to team up with the Hyderabad-based shuttler this season.
Gupta admitted there was some criticism within the badminton fraternity over the inclusion of Vidyadhar, currently ranked 12th in India in doubles.
“While Sanave and Rupesh play as one pair, Diju was left without a partner. Since he himself has chosen Vidyadhar as his long-term partner we felt that we should go with his decision,” Gupta said.
But the surprising thing was that the BAI did not feel it important to give the pair much exposure as they have not been selected in the Indian team for the Danish and Dutch Open that was also announced on Wednesday. “There are many domestic tournaments in India. And they can always go on their own expense to play a few satellite events, Gupta explained.
The BAI also opted against fielding the women's team and will only send Saina Nehwal and Trupti Murgunde for the individual championship. "India have no chance of a medal in the Asian Games," Gupta said. "So we thought there was no point in wasting money in sending a big contingent."
Team: Chetan Anand, Anup Sridhar, Arvind Bhat, P.Kashyap, Rupesh Kumar, Sanave Thomas, V Diju, JBS Vidyadhar.
Reserve: Nikhil Kanetkar, Anand Pawar. Saina Nehwal, Trupti Murgunde.