India suffered a 0-5 thrashing at the hands of formidable China in their opening group match of the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championship in Kuala Lumpur.
Only P V Sindhu could offer a semblance of a fight in her 21-19, 16-21, 14-21 women's singles loss to Wang Yihan while the four other Indians were outclassed by the Chinese at the Putra Stadium.
The Group A match began with the mixed doubles contest which Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in straight games to the pair of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei 10-21, 13-21 in just 29 minutes.
In the second tie, P Kashyap was no match for world number two Chen Long, who won 21-11, 21-9 in men's singles.
The combine of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra gave a tough fight to Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan in men's doubles before losing 23-25, 18-21 while their women counterparts Ponnappa Ashwini and Gadre Pradnya lost 18-21, 11-21 in women's doubles.
Without Saina, it was going to be tough for India but Sindhu displayed a brilliant performance against world number Wang Yihan.
Sindhu won the opening game and looked like there could be an upset on the card but the world number 13 Indian lost the plot later on to go down fighting in one hour and six minute match.
World number 11 Kashyap were completely outplayed by his world number two Chen Long in the 33-minute match in which the Chinese was ahead in all departments of the game.
India play Indonesia in their second and last group tie on Monday.
Saina did not take part in the tournament as she is nursing a hairline fracture in her toe while doubles player Jwala Gutta pulled out for not finding a suitable partner.
Photograph: Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters