RUNNERS-UP of last season, Mumbai Rockets have lost some key players in their singles department but still have the services of former player and World No. 1 doubles shuttler Lee Yong Dae.
Last season they had a combination of Lee Yong along with Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy and Sung Ji Hyun in the singles department. Though they have bagged the services of Son Wan Ho in the men's singles category, Beiwen Zhang looks a little less threatening.
The notable performances from Son Wan Ho this year has been winning the Bronze medal at the World Championships and ending the year at Dubai Super Series Finals in the semi-finals, losing to Lee Chong Wei. But he is familiar with the Indian crowd as he was part of the season last year. But it will be a new beginning for the South Korean who will also be the first choice men's singles player.
Accompanying him in this category will be Indian Sameer Verma. He too will be riding a new journey with Mumbai as he was part of Hyderabad last season. For Sameer too, this year has not been an eventful one. Marred with injuries, he was out of action for the post part of the year. Started the year with a bang as he won the India Grand Prix Gold and then was only seen at USA GPG where he failed to go beyond the quarter-finals.
But he is dependent as he is known to show his exploits once in his form but will he be able to withstand the in-form shuttlers from other teams is the question.
Talking further about Zhang, ranked No. 12 in the World at the moment, the two notable performances of her came at Bitburger GPG (runners-up) and Dutch GP (winner).
She also doesn't hold a good record against other top shuttlers in the women's singles category. Therefore Mumbai may find difficulty and fall short in this department.
Meanwhile in the doubles section, they do have a strength and it will be led by Yong Dae. He along with Tan Boon Heong will be seen leading the doubles action for this team. And in the mixed doubles, either of them can be paired up with Gabriela Stoeva. This part of the team makes them look strong against the rest.
As a whole, they don't look explosive like last season but their doubles action is to watch out for while the weakling would be the singles department.
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