Saina Nehwal suffered a shock defeat to Inthanon Ratchanok but a determined India rode on P. Kashyap and Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa's stunning wins to enter the quarterfinals of the Sudirman Cup with a 3-2 victory over Thailand in a Group C match in Qingdao, China on Monday.
India, which had lost to Chinese Taipei 2-3 in its openercruised to the knock-out stage for the first time since the Sudirman Cup started in 1989.
The world No. 43 pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas gave India a positive start by seeing off the 125th-ranked Bodin Issara and Maneepong Jongjit, 21-13 21-17 in the in the first rubber.
But Saina, ranked fourth in the world, couldn't make it count and lost 14-21, 20-22 to world No. 18 Inthanon in a 36-minute clash in women's singles.
Locked at 1-1, Kashyap was handed an uphill task of putting across world No. 6 Ponsana and the Andhra Pradesh lad didn't disappoint as he notched up a stunning 12-21, 21-18, 21-16 victory.
The Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning pair of Gutta and Ponnappa, ranked 32nd, then saw off the challenge from world No. 8 Duang Anong Aroonkesorn and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-18, 15-21, 21-19 to give India the tie.
In the final rubber, the mixed doubles pair of Pranav Chopra and Prajakta Sawant went down 18-21, 7-21 to the World No.2 combo of Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam.