World No.5 Kidambi Srikanth led the charge as India drubbed minnows Maldives 5-0 to make a resounding start in the men's team competition of the Asia Badminton Championships on Wednesday. Kidambi started the proceedings, easily outplaying Shaheed Hussein Zayan 21-5 21-6 in the first singles match, before B Sai Praneeth took just 17 minutes to get the better of Ahmed Nibal 21-10 21-4. The rest of the tie followed a similar script as Sameer Verma toyed with Mohamed Arsalaan Ali 21-5 21-1 to take an unassailable 3-0 lead.
In the men's doubles matches too, the Indians hardly broke a sweat.
In the first doubles match, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty beat Shaheed Hussein Zayan and Shaheem Hassan Afsheem 21-8 21-8 before Arjun M R teamed up with Shlok Ramachandran to tame the pair of Mohamed Arsalaan Ali and Ahmed Nibal 21-2 21-5.
The Asia Team championship is also a qualifier for the Thomas Cup Final with the semifinalists earning the right to play in Bangkok in May.
India men will next play formidable Indonesia on Thursday, while the women will be up against another tough opponent in Japan.