Led by former All-England winner Pullela Gopichand, the team stunned powerhouses like China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Denmark walk away with all the glory. Kidambi Srikanth, who outclassed Asian games gold medallist Jonatan Christie 21-15 23-21 in 48 minutes to seal the historic win, said that the team stepped up when it mattered the most.
The shuttler, who is World No 11, was extremely happy with the way the Indian contingent performed.
“It’s a great experience to play as a team. I feel we had the best team, and all of them really stepped up when it mattered. Extremely happy with the way everyone has performed,” Srikanth told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
He further revealed that before the tournament they had made a WhatsApp group named ‘It’s Coming Home’ to make players believe in themselves.
“We had this group (on WhatsApp) and named it ‘It’s coming home’. It was just to believe in ourselves that we can do it. There are also a lot of youngsters in the team. So, we just wanted to bring that feeling that we can do it. Wanted to back each other and help the juniors and get the best out of them. I’m happy that everything we have done, really worked well,” Srikanth further said.
“We haven’t really partied much. Went out for a team dinner.”
Coach Pullela Gopichand hailed the win as bigger than the 1983 cricket World Cup for Indian badminton.
“I would say that in badminton terms this is even bigger (than the 1983 World Cup win). I think nobody would have imagined that we would win something as big as this,” Pullela Gopichand told India Today.