As top cueists played billiards in the World Billiards Team Championship, the teams that dominated play were both Indian teams. The four-day event is not yet over, however, India cannot lose because both teams that have the final are Indian teams.
The two teams ousted their opponents in the exciting semi-final of the event. Not only did both teams win, they also played exceptionally well. In the semi-final, neither team lost a single frame during this event of the inaugural World Billiards Team Championship.
The India A team was made up of Alok Kumar, Dhruv Sitwala, Sourav Kothari, and Balachandra Bhaskar. The India B team was made up of Rupesh Shah, Devendra Joshi, Pankaj Advani, and Ashok Shandilya. The India A team beat the England A team with 5 – 1, and the India B team beat the Republic of Ireland team 6 – 0.
India’s B team has some well-known players who have a number of world titles under their belts already. Advani is already a nine time champion, while Shandilya is a world billiards champion and Shah is a two-time world champion in billiards. Joshi has not yet earned himself a world championship, but has been the runner-up player in the World Pro-Billiards.
India’s A team is also made up of winners. Kothari is the reigning Asian billiards champion, and Kumar is a former Asian billiards champion. Bhaskar has reached as high as the bronze medalist in the Asian Games, and Sitwala has reached as high as world billiards runner-up.
Advani, playing on the B team, recently won the IBSF World 6-Red Snooker Championship. He is known in the billiards and snooker world as a champion player who hold world titles in both shorter and longer formats of both snooker and billiards.
While it still remains to be seen which of the two teams will win, this is certainly an exciting championship for India.