Malaysia men's singles chief Hendrawan reckoned the Thomas Cup's 12-man allocation for each nation would give the national team more depth next month in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) retained the increase from 10 players from the 2020 edition in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course we will choose the best, and also the younger players. It’s great that each country can now choose 12 shuttlers instead of 10. That means we could register up to five singles shuttlers and it gives us more options.

“As for the tournament itself, we must try to become group champions as it would make our journey easier. If the players can prove themselves, it would be easier for us to make the selection when the Asian Games (Sept 10-25) comes along,” he told Stadium Astro.

Hendrawan added that Lee Zii Jia and Liew Daren might join the centralised training camp for the Thomas Cup.

As of now, Lee and Ng Tze Yong are shoo-ins to make the men’s singles squad, with Liew Daren also touted to be included due to his vast experience.

Cheam June Wei, Soong Joo Ven and Leong Jun Hao could vie for the remaining slots, while in the men’s doubles, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are selected.

Malaysia are in Group D of Thomas Cup along with Japan, England and New Zealand.

Cheam, meanwhile, did not do his chances any good after a tame 11-21, 11-21 defeat to Jeon Hyeok-jin at the ongoing Korea Masters.

Tan Kian Meng-Tan Wee Kiong were the biggest winners on Wednesday after they stunned third seeds Pramudya Kusumawardana-Yeremia Erich 21-11, 16-21, 22-20 to progress into the second round.

Swiss Open runners-up Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai joined them after a 21-12, 21-12 victory over Wang Chan-Jung Kyung-eun in the mixed doubles.

Chan Peng Soon-Toh Ee Wei, Soong Joo Ven and Goh Jin Wei also progressed to the second round after winning their openers on Tuesday.