India dismally lost their Thomas Cup opener 1-4 to Malaysia Sunday on the first day of the prestigious badminton tournament being held here for the first time. (Click here for latest on Badminton)
The hosts lost two singles and a brace of doubles matches but R.M.V. Gurusaidutt managed to avoid a whitewash by winning the third singles at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
World No.18 Kidambi Srikanth went down to World No.1 Lee Chong Wei 19-21, 12-21 in the first singles along expected lines. The two-time Olympic silver medallist toyed with the Indian youngster before pulling off the encounter to take a 3-0 lead in career meetings. (Also read: Ratchanok Inthanon Wary of Challenge from Saina, Sindhu)
The match was followed by the first doubles where B. Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri's 14-21, 11-21 loss in half an hour to Boon Heong Tan and Thien How Hoon gave Malaysia a decisive 2-0 lead.
A lot depended on captain Parupalli Kashyap in the do or die match but the Hyderabadi failed to live up to the expectations, losing the second singles 13-21, 6-21 to Wei Feng Chong in half an hour to give Malaysia the victory.
In the two dead rubbers, Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra lost the second doubles to V. Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan 17-21, 21-14, 14-14 but Gurusaidutt managed to win the last match of the tie 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 by defeating Daren Liew to avoid a Malaysian clean sweep.
India next play South Korea Monday, who beat Germany 3-2 in a tough encounter.
The Indian women, led by Saina Nehwal, will play their opening Uber Cup tie against Canada later in the day.