Davis Cup: Smells Like Team Spirit - The New Indian Express

Davis Cup: Smells Like Team Spirit

Published: 01st January 2014 03:08 AM

Last Updated: 01st January 2014 03:25 AM

On a day wild card entrant Yuki Bhambri spun an upset by advancing to the second round of the Chennai Open, India’s non-playing Davis Cup captain, Anand Amritraj, felt the youngster has played himself into being the second singles player of the country.

Yuki Bhambri plays a shot | R Satis Babu/EPS
“We have lot of talent here. The question is who steps up in the next few years. Yuki has done a good job in the last three-four months. He moved up in rankings from 290 to 195. He has played himself to being the second singles player,” Amritraj told TNIE on Tuesday.

With 30 days to go for India’s Davis Cup match against the Chinese Taipei in Indore, the permutations and combinations of the team are being worked out.

Being the country’s No 1 singles player, Somdev Devvarman is more or less assured of a berth. Yuki is expected to fill the other slot, as he did in the previous match against Indonesia. “If you go by the rankings, then I think Somdev and I would be part of the team. As far as the doubles is concerned, having three top notch doubles players makes it a tricky bet but that is the selection panel’s headache,” said Yuki.

While the singles slots look sorted out, the configuration of the doubles pair seems tricky. “I have in mind what I would like to do, what I would like to see. But I am not the only one who makes the decision. Everyone will pool in their ideas and it will be a collective decision. We need two good singles player and a decent doubles team. I am not taking these guys (Chinese Taipei) lightly. I definitely think we have the team to beat the Chinese Taipei and even Korea,” said Amritraj.

Leander Paes, who has been a regular at the Davis Cup, will be the key man but the 40-year-old is yet to decide on his participation. “Having one doubles specialist and three singles specialists is not a perfect team; you need to have players who deserve to be in the team. I respect the decision of the players, non-playing captain and the AITA but I will decide on what is best after a lot of thought,” he said.

If Paes does decide to play, it would be interesting to see who would partner him. The last two times he partnered Purav Raja and Sanam Singh. With Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi too in contention this time, the selectors will have their task cut out.  On the other hand, Sanam is hopeful of being at least a stand-by. “We have great doubles players in Leander, Mahesh and Rohan. Then there’s Saketh (Myneni), Jeevan (Nedunchezhiyan), (N Sriram) Balaji and myself. Hopefully, one of the stand-by slots will go to me,” he said.

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