It will be a very close contest. That’s how Banga Beats’ coach Vimal Kumar expects Friday’s IBL game against Pune Pistons to be.
Pune have nine points from three matches, Banga Beats have seven from two. So a win will make semifinal chances a lot better.
“We have been doing well, but Pune is also a good team and I expect the game to be close. We have a good chance in ladies and men’s singles and also in men’s doubles. But yes, Pune have a definite edge in mixed doubles,” Vimal opined.
Asked how he hopes to overcome the Ashwini Ponnappa factor as the Bangalore girl is in the opponent ranks, Vimal said: “Yes, Ashwini will be an important factor. She is a very good player and has matured a lot. Her mixed doubles partner (Joachiam) Fischer is also very experienced and they have an advantage. We have a young combination. Let’s see how it goes,” Vimal added.
“We are banking on Carolina (Marin) to win the women’s singles. She has met Juliane (Schenk) twice in the past and has been impressive. I expect her to come through. We need to seize the initiative and see off Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh as he has had a patchy tournament so far,” he said.
“In men’s doubles, Carsten Mogensen’s experience and the young Akshay Dewalkar can make a difference against Pune’s pair of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar. We need to win one men’s singles, a mixed doubles and men’s doubles. If we can do that, we can say that we are a little better placed for the semifinals,” said Vimal.
“The next two ties against Pune Pistons and Krrish Delhi Smashers are important as these matches would give a clear indication of our semifinal chances. Our morale is very high as the team management is leaving no stone unturned to keep the team happy and in great spirits. They have been flying around 300 supporters to the venues to cheer us. Many players feel they should have been with Banga Beats. I am sure the atmosphere in the matches in Bangalore will be electric,” Vimal concluded.