Bangalore: Hosts Banga Beats have a humongous task of winning their last two ties with big margins to remain in semifinals hunt as they clash with laggards Krrish Delhi Smashers in their penultimate round tie of the Indian Badminton League (IBL), here on Sunday.
Beats were rusty against Pune Pistons, losing 1-4 and now stand fifth in the table with just eight points. Awadhe Warriors also have eight points but they are placed above the Bangalore side.
Beats now not only have to win their remaining matches but also pray that some of other results go in their favour.
Tomorrow is a good chance for Beats to bring their campaign back on track as they face struggling Smashers, who are coming into the tie following a 1-4 defeat against Awadhe Warriors.
After that they face formidable table-toppers Hyderabad Hotshots, and hence their win against Smashers with a huge margin becomes imperative.
Playing their first game at home, the Beats would look to give their fans something to cheer about. Top-notch players including Parupalli Kashyap and Hu Yun, will be looking to forget their below-par performance against Pistons and do better before home crowd.
Both of them disappointed as they suffered upset defeats against Anup Sridhar and Sourabh Varma.
Beats also need Carsten Mogensen and Akshay Dewalkar, who lost against the pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Kiong Tan Wee, to fire again.
However, Kashyap's form still remains a worrying sign for the Beats. He will have to live upto his billing in his next game if he needs to prove his worth as an icon player.
The mixed doubles combination of Aparna Balan and Dewalkar is not the best in the business and it will also be a concern for the Beats.
Two defeats have made it tough for Smashers, who are now languishing last in the table. The doubles pairing of Boon Hoeng Tan and Kien Keat Koo is the only one consistently delivering the goods for them. The combo were the only soldiers who kept Smashers alive by winning men's double against Warriors' Markis Kido and Mathias Boe.
Even though Sai Praneeth lost a couple of games in the previous ties, he continues to be one of their strong prospects. If Jwala Giutta returns from injury, that will also add a little steel to the mixed-doubles team.
The singles has been a concern area for Smashers through the campaign.
Daren Liew was impressive in his first game but got totally outplayed by Lee Chong Wei and RMV Gurusaidutt in previous games. It will be interesting to see if the management sticks with him or go back to playing Thailand's Nichaon Jindapon as their third overseas player.
K Srikanth also looks in good touch and has managed to impress one and all. In fact, he gave his team a winning start, coming out victorious against compatriot and friend Sai Praneeth of the Smashers in the last game.