BEING the nation’s top-ranked pair, world No 7 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik will likely be handed the first doubles duty in the Thomas Cup, which starts on Sunday, in Bangkok.
But can they be relied upon, especially during the crucial stages?
Although the pair did well to finish runners-up at the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) last Sunday, the manner they lost the final to Indonesia’s Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Rambitan is worrying.
Former China international Cai Yun said Aaron-Wooi Yik have nothing special except for their speed.
“If you limit your game to one style of play, you’re bound to be vulnerable when facing difficulties,” said Cai Yun on his Wechat account.
“But the same cannot be said if you have variety with two or three different approaches.
“A player who has that can change his style depending on the situation.
“For instance, if speed is not working, a player can rely on changing his approach to cope during matches.
“Aaron-Wooi Yik are always ahead when it comes to pace. However, the pair could not cope as the Indonesians were faster.
“The Malaysians could not find a way to break their opponents’ momentum and lost the match.”
Cai Yun, who formed a successful partnership with Fu Haifeng, won the 2012 London Olympics gold medal and was crowned world champion four times.
He also helped China win five consecutive Thomas Cup crowns from 2004 to 2012.
As the first doubles, Aaron-Wooi Yik will likely play in the second match of a tie in Bangkok.
The onus will be on them to either help win Malaysia’s second point or level the tie.