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Monday, March 24, 2008

Thomas Cup 2008 Analysis

You are probably wondering whether The Badminton Blog has gone AWOL. No, it hasn't. The Badminton Blog is just working on bringing its readers a live telecast to its readers. Be patient :).

Anyway, after vowing not to make any more predictions for the Thomas Cup, I have decided to analyze Malaysia's position.

Malaysia has lost the reliability of a crucial pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong. They have failed to beyond the second round of any tournament this year, and has dropped steadily down th rankings. This certainly doesn't help Malaysia's cause. Once viewed as unbeatable, this pair seem to have hit a few snags.

On the brighter side, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah have stood up and seem be back in form. However, I still think they would be fielded as the second singles regardless of their rankings (a country does not have to follow the official ranking in fielding players in positions). I will explain this later.

Lee Chong Wei's surprisingly tame defeat in the hands of Lin Dan puts Malaysia in an even tougher position.

How, how, how to put together a credible team?

This is how Malaysia should do it.

Field Koo and Tan as MD1. Koo and Tan may lose to lesser pairs, but I have no doubt that they have a better chance at beating Cai/Fu, Jung/Lee and Kido/Setiawan than Tan Fook and Wan Wah. Tan Fook and Wan Wah will fare better against the 2nd Men's Doubles of the badminton powers. Hwang/Lee, Guo/Xie and Yulianto/Hadiyanto. They have a better chance of beating them than the premier pairs. After all, a point is still a point, no matter if its the MD1 or the MD2 point.

Now we are left with the Chong Wei, Hafiz and Choong Hann trio. To arrange the also require strategizing nothing short of Sun Tze's Art of War. Chong Wei, presumably will beat Taufik and Hyun Il, but cannot beat Lin Dan. Hafiz is a strong team player, but he is still a 'yoyo'. Choong Hann is unpredictable, but nevertheless reliable. So what to do with them?

Put Chong Wei in MS2. He will deliver a 'sure win' point. I have more confidence in Choong Hann than Hafiz, so put Choong Hann in MS3. Let Hafiz be sacrificed.

This is all assuming the other teams won't do it. You never know what goes on in the background. Information on what the opposing team is fielding is crucial.

So my team will be
MS1: Hafiz
MS2: Chong Wei
MS3: Choong Hann
MD1: Koo/Tan
MD2: Choong/Lee

Against China, they would fare:

Hafiz to lose to Lin Dan
Chong Wei to beat Bao Chunlai
Choong Hann to lose to Chen Jin
Koo/Tan to beat Cai/Fu
Choong/Lee to beat Guo/Xie

However, against other teams, like Indonesia, Korea and Denmark, Malaysia should field full strength:

Chong Wei to beat Hyun Il
Choong Hann to lose to Sung Hwan
Hafiz to beat Seung Mo
Koo/Tan to beat Jung/Lee
Choong/Lee to beat Hwang/Lee

However, the Koreans are always full of suprises. They are the masters of strategizing.

Chong Wei to beat Taufik
Choong Hann to lose to Sony
Hafiz to lose to Simon
Koo/Tan to beat Kido/Setiawan
Choong/Lee to beat Yulianto/Hadiyanto

Indonesia is my second pick after China for the title. Taufik, Sony, Simon, Kido, Setiawan, Yulianto, Hadiyanto and 20,000 fans is a challenge to beat.

Of course, all of these are just theoretical situation. Besides, not only Malayisa can do it. Other countries and choose and pick their team.

Indeed interesting. Stay tuned for more news from The Badminton Blog


Wendy said...

Hello Victor,

Firstly, this is a great badminton blog. Keep up the fantastic work!

My appologies for disturbing you but I need some help in a badminton survey. Do you know as to where I can get answers to the following questions or if you are aware of the figures:

1. How many people play badminton in Malaysia?

2. How many badminton clubs are there in Malaysia?

I contacted BAM but to no avail.

Thanks so much and sorry for asking you here.


abgraldo said...

Hi Victor,

Your probable malaysian lineup against china looks very interesting. But, sadly it wont happen. Read the rules.. Players fielded are according to the BWF rankings. If you fielding Hafiz as 1st single, then chongwei and choonhan had to be left out. Same goes to the doubles. What a pity..
However, I still felt malaysian got 50-50 chances with our strongest line-up.