Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday praised Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth for successfully leading Team India to their historic Thomas Cup victory.
The Indian team scripted history on May 15 by winning the first-ever Thomas Cup crown since its inception in 1949.
PM Modi held an interaction with the Indian contingent of Thomas and Uber Cup on Sunday and congratulated the shuttles for making the country proud.
On being asked by the PM about his mindset while leading Team India on such a big forum, Srikanth said, "Everyone was playing well, so my only aim was to bring all of us together as it was a team event and we had to play like a single unit. We used to have small discussions within ourselves about how to go about the game and I did not have to do much being a captain as everyone in the team had been doing good."
"It was a privilege for me to take Team India to the finals and I got to play the last decider game, which was really important. It was a big opportunity for me to represent India and I wanted to give my best," he added.
PM Modi further congratulated Team India on behalf of the country for reaching such great heights and bringing the Thomas Cup home after 73 years.
"Earlier, we never used to excel in Thomas Cup. The majority of the people of the country had no idea about such a big tournament taking place. Now, I would like to congratulate the entire team as after decades you have hoisted the Indian Cup at that level, and I am extremely proud," said PM Modi.
"Leading Team India in the final of such a big tournament is not an easy thing. I would like to take this moment and congratulate Srikanth," he added.
Earlier on May 15, PM Modi also had a telephonic conversation with the Indian team, immediately after they clinched the victory in the final of the Thomas Cup.
No Indian team has previously reached the final of the Thomas and Uber Cup in its 70-plus year history. Indian men reached the Thomas Cup semi-finals in 1952, 1955 and 1979 while the women's team made it to the Uber Cup top-four in 2014 and 2016.
The Indian team, featuring Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and others, have given a good account of themselves at this year's tournament.