Zeeshan: 'Pairing Saketh and Paes was a better idea'

Both the committee and captain Anand Amritraj wanted three singles players in the team which didn’t help Bopanna’s cause.

"The decision to have an additional single player was based on past experience," said Zeeshan.   -  Getty Images

The decision to not choose India’s highest-ranked doubles player Rohan Bopanna for the Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie against New Zealand was “straight forward,” said India’s coach Zeeshan Ali, who is also part of the Senior Selection Committee.

“When Rohan and Saketh [Myneni] played New Zealand last year, they lost to Marcus Daniell and Artem Sitak in straight sets,” Zeeshan told Sportstar.

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“And the way Saketh and Leander Paes played against Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal [World Group playoff], they almost upset them. So we thought pairing them was a better idea.”

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Also, the fact that both the Committee and Captain Anand Amritraj wanted three singles players in the team didn’t help Bopanna’s cause. Against South Korea both Saketh and Ramkumar Ramanathan struggled with their fitness which in turn forced Bopanna, who had last played singles in 2012, to play the albeit inconsequential reverse singles match.

“The decision to have an additional single player was based on past experience,” said Zeeshan. “God forbid if something happens to either of the two singles guys, you will still have a backup. That was our thinking.”