(File pix) National men's singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia. Pix by Eizairi Shamsudin

KUALA LUMPUR: National men's singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia could hold the key to Malaysia's victory against Denmark at the Thomas Cup, which starts on Sunday, in Bangkok.

In order to finish as Group D winners, Malaysia must see off the defending champions, who have been drawn in same group, along with Russia and minnows Algeria.

Zii Jia has been undergoing ‘special’ training under national singles coach Misbun Sidek since last month’s China Masters in Lingshui.

When met at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) on Monday, the 20-year-old, who will play second singles, said: "We may not seem strong on paper, but I believe in miracles.

"Apart from Lee Chong Wei, the others are not as experienced but that could work for us.

"It can go either way when I take to court. Against Denmark, I could face either Anders Antonsen or Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in the second singles.

"Based on ranking, they are better, but as an underdog, I have no pressure. There is also the element of surprise. Most teams do not know what we have been up to, so that's good,” said the World No 44.

The other men's singles shuttlers in the team are Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and reigning Asian junior champion Leong Jun Hao.

Zii Jia added that it would be nice to exact revenge over the European powerhouse, who knocked Malaysia out in the semi-finals of the 2016 Thomas Cup in Kunshan, China.

"It is on our mind for sure. I was still a junior player then, but I remember Malaysia losing narrowly. I predict another close encounter this time around.

"It will be 50-50 in the first singles and doubles matches. I could very well hold the key to the tie," Zii Jia pointed out.

The national contingent's centralised training camp ends on Tuesday, before both the Thomas and Uber Cup teams leave for Bangkok on Thursday.

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