Leander Paes named in India Davis Cup squad for Croatia tie

Divij Sharan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran made themselves unavailable for the Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, which India won 4-0 in November.

Leander Paes is into his final year of his professional career.

Leander Paes is into his final year of his professional career.   -  R. Ragu

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has announced a six-member team for the Davis Cup World Group qualifier tie against Croatia to be played on indoor hard court in Zagreb on March 6 and 7.

The team will have Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanthan for singles. There will be three doubles players in Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes and Divij Sharan.

Rohit Rajpal continues as the captain of the team, even though he was originally supposed to be the captain only for the tie against Pakistan. Zeeshan Ali will be the coach.

"Once the Davis Cup tie was shifted out of Pakistan and played in Kazakhstan, it was decided that Rohit would be the captain of the team for the year 2020", clarified the chief executive officer (CEO) of AITA, Akhouri Bishwadeep.

The selection committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Balram Singh on Thursday, and was attended by Rohit Rajpal and Ankita Bhambri. Coach Zeeshan Ali and Nandan Bal were consulted on telephone, before the team was finalised.

When asked about the withdrawal of the press release, a few minutes after it was sent by the AITA, the CEO clarified that the person who had sent the release thought that there was a mistake.

"The selection committee had also decided that Anand Dubey and Yash Pandey would be the physios for the team. But, it was brought to the
attention of the committee that Anand could be busy with the Fed Cup team, if it was held the same week", said Bishwadeep.

Even though a six-member team has been announced, the ITF has to be
intimated a five-member team. One player would travel as a reserve, and that would be decided in due course of time.

"We could have announced the team later, but some of the players whose availability we had sought, wanted clarity as they needed a three-week period to enter tournaments, if they were not selected for Davis Cup duty. So, the team has been announced now", the CEO stated.

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