Indian BJK Team had a fantastic start to the Asia / Oceania Group I Playoffs in Uzbekistan with a 2-1 win over Thailand. This is also the first time that the Indian Team was completely represented by Women, including the support staff.
Our newly appointed captain Shalini Thakur caught up with ITD to share her thoughts on the thrilling win
This is our first ever all-women (incl. the support staff) team and we started off on a winning note. Thoughts?
It was a difficult tie. In the first match against Luksika Kumkhum, it was going to be tough as she is a former top-50 WTA player and she showed that on the court but Ankita Raina pulled it back for us.
Doubles was a roller coaster ride. It is good to start on a winning note.
Thoughts on the Rutuja Bhosale vs Luksika Kumkhum match?
For Rutuja, the basic plan was to stay with Kumkhum as Rutuja was up against a high quality player. She had to make the points stretch longer and stay competitive. Rutuja tried whatever she could but the quality of the opponent`s player was a little higher.
Thoughts on Ankita Raina`s match vs Peangtarn Plipuech?
Ankita Raina played against the same opponent in Indonesia last week and won in straight sets. Even though Ankita went down in the 1st set, all the games were close and went to deuce. I was confident that she would pull it off in the next two sets and she was able to do it.
What was the game plan in terms of team combination for doubles?
We had 3 debutants in the team. So the thought process was that if we had gone up 2-0, we wanted to give chance to the 2 debutants. However given that the score turned out to be 1-1, we could not take the chance at the moment and so had to go with our most experienced players. This is our first tie and we had to go up.
How do you intend to manage the workload of Ankita Raina and Rutuja Bhosale?
Everyone is fit and hungry. So as and when the situation presents itself, we are going to shuffle the players. As of now, as long as Ankita is fit – she will take the charge.