Hyderabad, Feb 3: Defending champions Bengaluru Raptors will aim to put up a commanding performance when they take on the bottom-placed Mumbai Rockets in their attempt to make the semifinals of Star Sports Premier Badminton League (PBL) at the GMC Balayogi Sats Indoor Stadium here in Hyderabad in the season's final double header on Tuesday.
While that will be the second tie of the day, the double header will begin with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Superstarz and North Eastern Warriors as they battle for the top spot in the league standings.
Bengaluru snapped their losing streak with a commanding 3-0 win against the Hyderabad Hunters in their most recent tie. World No. 2 Tai Tzu Ying stormed back from a first-game loss to edge PV Sindhu, much to the disappointment of the home crowd. The Raptors would need their talisman to step up once again as they desperately seek a last-four berth.
The Raptors have suffered some very close losses despite putting in some commendable performances. They would need the entire team to click if they want to remain in contention for a successful defence of their title. Currently they are at the fifth position in the table and are separated from the fourth-placed Awadhe Warriors.
For Bengaluru to progress, their fate depends as much on their own hands as on how Pune and the Warriors perform.
World Championship bronze medallist Sai Praneeth is now on a two-match winning streak and the team would look up to him to deliver in a possible exciting face-off with Mumbai Rockets' Parupalli Kashyap. The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist just won his first match of the season and he would look to bring that confidence into this game as the struggling Rockets look to end their season on a high.
Brice Leverdez was also a revelation and Bengaluru would hope to see him continue with the same spirit while the form of the doubles pairs too would be of vital importance.
With both the Chennai Superstarz and the North Eastern Warriors having qualified for the semifinals, it will be a stern test of grit, resolve and nerves as the two best teams of Season 5 meet each other in the other tie of the day. This will also be the last match of the league stage for both teams and they will definitely aim to boost their confidence ahead of the knock-out stages.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy hurt his ankle in Chennai's last match and could be rested. Lakshya Sen and Tommy Sugiarto would look to drive the team against the Michelle Li and Lee Yong Dae-led North Eastern Warriors in this must-watch showdown.
Source: PBL Release