India’s Harmeet Desai didn’t have a favourable start as he lost to Northern Ireland’s Own Cathcart in the first game, 5-11. But in the second game, Desai came back from being 3-5 down to win the fixture 11-9. He once again was against the wall as Cathcart took a 6-2 lead in the third set but the Indian rallied back at the score of 8-8.
In the end, he lost the third game, 12-14. Desai once again made a powerful comeback as he registered a dominating 11-3 win over Cathcart.
Riding high on confidence, Harmeet sealed the game in India’s favour. He clinched the fifth and last set after levelling the game 2-2 11-6.
Harmeet Desai was also part of the doubles’ win in the match against Northern Ireland alongside Sharath Kamal. The Indian registered a 3-1 win to start the proceedings which were followed by Sanil Shetty who blew past his opponent. With this win, the Indian TT contingent capped off another successful day as they also won 3-0 over Guyana.
But before entering this event there were some experts who didn’t give the TT squad a lot of chance. One of these individuals was Asian Games medallist Somdev Devvarman who believed that the Indian team may not have a very successful run in Birmingham. But he also talked about how ‘good camaraderie’ and ‘good energy in the team’ could help them push for medals.
He said, “Coming to table tennis, Manika Batra has four medals in the last Games and also stalwarts like Sharath Kamal. But it’s not going to be easy at all to match last time’s haul (eight medals). Manika had four medals herself. It’ll be a massive effort. It’s one thing to come out here and win medals like she did the last time.
“But it’s another thing to back it up in the next Games. There’s a lot that’s changed over the last four years. Keep in mind there’s the team events. “I think if there’s good camaraderie, good energy in the team, then teammates tend to get the best out of you in the toughest moments. I think it’ll be hard but we can still hope for the best,”