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PBL 2017: TEAM PREVIEW -- Star shuttlers in Bengaluru Blasters need to bring their 'A' game on court

BENGALURU BLASTERS finished second from bottom in the last edition of PBL and will want to change that in the third season. They have retained the services of Viktor Axelsen and Sikki Reddy which is a positive sign for the team.

Their experiences will only make the team stronger. The Danish shuttler Viktor has been in his best form this year, ending 2017 on a high with a title in Dubai Super Series Finals beating Lee Chong Wei. Not just in Dubai, he defeated Chong Wei in Japan too to lift the Super Series title.

Four titles (Dubai SSF, World Championships, India Open and Japan Open) and one runners-up (China Open) trophy is what Viktor was able to collect for himself this season.

The same form will be expected from him when he'll take the court for Bengaluru and in that case expect tough competition in the tournament.

Accompanying him in the men's singles category is Chong Wei Feng from Malaysia. The 30-year-old when compared to current crop of shuttlers in the top 20 may fall short in terms of performance but in the league format can prove to be instrumental. In the singles department, youngster Harsheel Dani is also present and it will be interesting to see him in action for the second men's singles match.

In the women's singles category, Scottish shuttler Kristy Gilmour will be seen for the first time in PBL. A promising 24-year-old shuttler who has had a decent year this season. At the European Championships, she settled for a Silver losing to Carolina Marin. She had another Silver at Canada Open (GP) and bagged the Scottish Open title (GP).

Bengaluru may lack the blasting factor in the women's singles department when compared to other teams in the league. The other shuttler in the team is Rituparna Das.

In the doubles front, along with Sikki Reddy, leading the pack will be Mathias Boe. After seeing Sikki play with Ko Sung, this season should double the excitement as fans may get to see the pairing of Sikki and Mathias. This could prove to be a deadly combination for the Blasters. The other option they have is Kim Sa Rang and Manu Attri.

In the men's doubles front, it will also be interesting to see Attri and Mathias pair up. But there is a possibility that Rang will be seen playing alongside Mathias.

Taking all the above stated facts into consideration, Bengaluru team looks good but certain shortcomings do exist.

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