India is all set to face Canada in the World Group play –off coming September. As foretasted earlier, legendary doubles player Leander Paes has missed out on selection for the line-up. The doubles spot is occupied by the in form doubles player Rohan Bopanna. While Yuki Bhambri and big serving Saketh Myneni made their comeback and will travel with the team to Canada. Ramkumar Ramanathan has also been included in the squad who earlier this year caused one of the biggest upset of the year by defeating Dominic Theim who was 8th ranked player.
AITA defended their decision for picking Rohan over Paes by saying that Rohan was an obvious choice since just one spot for doubles is available and given the current rank and form of Bopanna, he is too good a player to be missed out. Earlier during India’s tie against Uzbekistan when Paes was not selected for the last four, he left the venue half-way into the tie. Paes is just one win away from creating a world record of winning maximum doubles win in Davis Cup.
Selection committee chairman though cleared that Paes can claim for a berth in the Davis Cup team in future but currently looking at the rankings Bopanna(21) and Myneni(53) are chosen ahead of Paes because they are ranked higher than the veteran. Bopanna will be partnered by Myneni for the doubles ties.
It seems like the selection committee has made this decision not only on the basis of the ranking but also on disciplinary grounds after what happened against Uzbekistan tie, it was important for AITA to send a right message for all. Thus, Leander Paes is dropped out of Davis Cup list for Canada tie not just because of rankings but for the immature behavior that he showed on the court. His experience would have certainly helped but this step was necessary to send a right message.
Though selectors have hinted that this might not be the end of Paes’s journey he can still win back his place in the team. For the tie, Bopanna and Myneni will be selected for doubles matches while Bhambri and Ramanathan will play the singles and Gunnesweran and Balaji have been kept in reserves, They both made their Davis Cup debuts earlier this year in Bengaluru.
Article by Navneet.