Rarely has a captain sounded so convinced about the quality of the team as Namita Bal was about the Indian under-14 girls team, headed for the Asia-Oceania World Junior tennis tournament in Kuching, Malaysia.
After two purposeful training sessions in the Capital, and some useful tips from Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali, the three players Maaya Rajeshwaran, Harithashree Venkatesh and Diya Ramesh were bright with optimism. Namita expressed confidence that the team would qualify for the world stage.
“It is a very well-balanced team. All three players are only 13 and are very good singles players. All of them are capable of good doubles as well”, said Namita, on the eve of the team’s departure on Friday.
“Usually, we have had only one or two good players in the team over the years. This team is an exception. We have three strong players”, said Namita.
When queried about Maaya, the captain was all praise for the wiry girl who packs a lot of punch in her game.
“Maaya is so aggressive and so bold on the court. Off the court, she is so sweet. She is nice and strong. I love it”, said Namita.
The captain was also impressed by the players, and the importance of setting personal differences, if any, aside and pulling together as a team while representing the country.
With some of the leading nations like Japan, Korea and Australia in the fray, it will be tough competition, but the Indian girls are confident about their preparation and progress.
“They are very committed and that is what matters”, said the captain.