New Delhi: India will fancy their chances of reaching the knockout stage after getting relatively easy draws at the TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals to be held in Bangkok from May 20 to 27.
Both India men's and women's teams have been placed in Group A in both Thomas Cup as well as Uber Cup, the draw of which was completed in Bangkok on Thursday.
While Indian women's team, which reached the semifinals in the last two editions, has been clubbed with five-time champions Japan, Canada and Australia in the Uber Cup, the men's team has been drawn alongside nine-time winners China, France and Australia in the Group A of Thomas Cup.
India is seeded 5/8th in both the events.
The top two teams in each group at the end of the group stage will make it to the knock-out round, which means India have to ensure they don't goof up against the lower-ranked teams in their respective groups.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's men and France's women qualified for the prestigious event due to the withdrawal of England and Spain respectively.
Indian men's team, led by Kidambi Srikanth, had lost 1-3 in the quarter-finals to China, while PV Sindhu-led Indian women's side suffered a 1-3 defeat to Indonesia in the last eight at last month's Badminton Asia Team Championships, which was also the qualifier for Thomas and Uber Cup.
However, despite the losses Indian teams qualified for the event based on their rankings.
Indian women's team had lost to eventual champion China in the semifinal stage in the 2016 edition of Uber Cup. They also reached the semifinal in the 2014 New Delhi edition.
The men's team, which reached the quarterfinals in 2006 and 2010 editions, faced defeats in all its Group matches in the 2016 edition to crash out of the tournament.
Group A: China, India, France, Australia
Group B: Indonesia, Korea, Canada, Thailand
Group C: Chinese Taipei, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong
Group D: Denmark, Malaysia, Russia, Algeria
Group A: Japan, India, Canada, Australia
Group B: Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Germany, Hong Kong
Group C: Korea, Denmark, Russia, Mauritius
Group D: China, Indonesia, France, Malaysia.