HS Prannoy and the men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran delivered superb performances but couldn't stop Singapore from registering a narrow 3-2 win over India in a group B match of the Asia Mixed Team Championships on Wednesday.
India didn't have a good start to the five-match tie as the mixed doubles pair of MR Arjun and Rutaparna Panda lost 16-21 13-21 to Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Tan Wei Han in the opening match.
However, 2018 Asian Championships bronze medallist Prannoy brought India back in the contest, securing a 21-8, 12-21, 21-17 win over Thailand Masters champion Kean Yew Loh in the men's singles.
After Prannoy levelled the tie, Arjun and Shlok put India ahead with a strong 21-16, 21-18 victory over Loh Kean Hean and Chrisnanta.
The onus to wrap up the tie then fell on the young shoulders of Assamese wonderkid Ashmita Chaliha.
The National Championships bronze medallist fought bravely before going down 21-17, 12-21, 16-21 to World No. 32 Yeo Jia Min in a thrilling women's singles match.
In the final rubber of the tie, the India women's doubles pair of Arathi Sara Sunil and Panda put up a show of grit and determination but it was not enough as Singapore's Putri Sari Dewi Citra and Lim Ming Hui prevailed 22-24, 21-15, 21-16 to register a win in one hour and nine minutes.
With this loss, India are placed at the bottom of Group B, trailing Chinese Taipei and Singapore.
With most of the top Indian stars, including Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, rested ahead of next week's India Open, the contingent had a tough task at this tournament where they lost in the quarter-finals in the previous edition.
India next take on Chinese Taipei in a must-win encounter on Thursday.