Malaysia may mix and match men’s pairs to catch rivals off-guard

It’s anybody’s guess: Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia (top left) and Soh Wooi Yik may be paired with other players in the Sudirman Cup in Nanning, China.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia may field a scratch men’s doubles pair at the Sudirman Cup in Nanning, China, to catch their opponents off guard when the tournament starts tomorrow.

World No. 13 and All-England runners-up Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik could be mixed and matched with 21st ranked pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi.

With Malaysia drawn in Group D with 10-time winners China and India, the bold move could just be the monkey wrench that is needed to mess up the plans of their opponents.

Aaron may be fielded with Ee Yi while Yew Sin may partner Wooi Yik.

The fast-attacking Aaron is game for anything.

“We’ve been swapping partners in training once in a while but it’s the coach’s call. We are prepared,” said Aaron.

Aaron should know better as he was thrown into the cauldron at the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok, Thailand, last year with his senior Ee Yi and the scratch pair almost brought the roof down when they gave 2012 London Olympic silver medallists Matthias Boe-Carsten Mogensen a scare before losing 21-19, 10-21, 18-21.

With the defeat, Malaysia eventually lost 2-3 to Denmark in the group stage.

They partnered again in the quarter-finals against Indonesia and gave world No. 5 Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto a run for their money before losing 18-21, 21-10, 9-21. Indonesia won 3-1.

“I’m like Yew Sin as both of us prefer to play at the back, while Ee Yi and Wooi Yik are more comfortable at the front.”

China’s men’s doubles line-up looks daunting as they boast world No. 3 and reigning world champions Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen and world No. 7 Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong.

India have world No. 23 and 24 in Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy.

Beating China will be tough but Malaysia will be banking on the doubles department to beat India for a ticket to the quarter-finals.

“We’re the underdogs against China. I believe if we play without pressure, we can create upsets. We can win against India if we’re focused,” said Aaron.

“Most of the members in the team are youngsters this time. We’re staying positive and we want to prove to our fans that we can give a good fight.”


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