Egged on by a packed stadium, India avenged the 2-3 loss to England at the same stage in the Melbourne Games four years ago.
Malaysia, boasting of World No.1 Lee Chong Wei on their side, were given a tough fight by Singapore, before prevailing 3-1 in the other semi-final.
The Indian team were given the right start by mixed doubles pair Jwala Gutta and V.Diju who defeated Nathan Robertson and Jeny Wallwork 21-17, 21-15.
Parupalli Kashyap then upset Rajiv Ouseph 21-13, 21-17 in 41 minutes. Saina Nehwal clinched the issue with a 21-18, 21-11 win over Liz Cann.
“It is a big result for us. Last time we lost to England in a close tie. Though they had a very successful mixed doubles team in Nathan and Gail Emms. Nathan has a new partner now, but the mixed doubles victory was an important one,” said Saina.
“The final is going to be a tough tie, but we will give our best shot,” said World No.3 Saina.
Indian coach Pullela Gopichand’s ploy of putting Kashyap up in place of India’s top men’s player Chetan Anand turned out to be a smart decision.
Anand was not in his best shape as he was stretched by Canada’s David Snider in the singles match in the quarter-finals in the morning. The hosts, however, won 3-0.
“Chetan was a bit slow in the morning. It was a team decision to play Kashyap in this tie. We had to take into account Chetan’s experience also, so it was tough,” Gopichand said.
Kashyap admitted that he was under pressure to perform after being told that he will play the all-important singles match.
“I was under pressure and Gopichand sir was also under pressure after putting me up for the singles match. I wanted to prove a point that even I can beat him. Most of my team members were confident,” Kashyap said.
“My strategy was to tire him out by playing rallies. I started slow. I never lost focus in the entire match. I always play better when the crowd is behind me,” he said.
It was Diju and Jwala who worked magic upfront against doubles specialist Robertson, the Athens Olympic silver medallist and defending champion in mixed doubles, and Jeny with their crisp service.
“This was the first time that we beat Nathan in mixed doubles, though he is playing with a new partner. We served really well and that proved to be the difference between both the pairs. Everything worked according to our strategy,” said Diju.