With the goal of winning medals in all categories, the Indian squash team has reached Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games with Sourabh Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa about to make their last-ditch attempt to break the myth of winning a medal in singles. The trio of Dipika Pallikal, Joshna and Saurabh have taken over the responsibility of the Indian squash team on their shoulders for the past 15 years. All three have worked hard for the Games this time as it could also be their last Commonwealth Games.
Squash was first included in the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and since then India has won only three medals. These include the historic gold medal won by Joshna and Deepika in Glasgow 8 years ago. They have again reached British soil as strong contenders for the title. She also won the world title earlier this year. Now, Deepika, the mother of twins, has also made a stunning comeback by winning the mixed doubles title at the World Doubles Championships in April along with Ghosal.
All the top teams playing squash, except Egypt, are part of the Commonwealth Games. India is yet to win a medal in singles but Joshna and Ghosal are leaving no stone unturned this time. Deepika has not yet started playing in singles after her comeback. Ghoshal, when asked if India would have the best chance of winning a medal in singles in 2022, said: "That's the hope. We have made a lot of progress since we started playing 20 years ago. We have also made good progress as players. The challenge in the Commonwealth Games is tough. It's not easy to win a medal here.'' Ghoshal was ranked third in the Commonwealth Games last time but has been knocked out at the outset. He doesn't want to put extra pressure on himself by thinking about it.
He has said, "I am not thinking about the draw, last time I made such a mistake. I want to focus on one match at a time. India has also practised under the supervision of former world number one Gregory Gaultier in Chennai before leaving for Birmingham.'' The Indian women's team also includes 14-year-old Anhat Singh. All eyes are going to be on her performance. Last month, at the Asian Junior Squash Championships, she won the title in the girls' Under-15 category. Anhat has so far won 46 national circuits and two national titles. She has eight international titles to her name so far. Apart from her, Sunayana Kuruvilla, Abhay Singh and V Senthilkumar are also going to participate in the Commonwealth Games for the first time.
The Indian team is as follows: Men's Singles: Saurav Ghosal, Ramit Tandon, Abhay Singh. Women's Singles: Joshna Chinappa, Sunayana Kuruvilla, Anhat Singh. Women's Doubles: Dipika Pallikal/ Joshna Chinappa. Mixed Doubles: Saurav Ghosal/Dipika Pallikal, Ramit Tandon/Joshna Chinappa. Men's Doubles: Ramit Tandon/Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Velawan Senthilkumar/ Abhay Singh.