Ahead of India’s Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan to be played on April 7th in Bangalore, non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi has decided to drop Leander Paes from the team, and replace him with India’s other doubles specialist, Rohan Bopanna. It is still unclear what Paes’ exclusion from the team would mean for his Davis Cup career going forward.
The initial list of names shortlisted by Bhupathi a couple of days back featured neither Bopanna or Paes, but with the captain now deciding to go with Bopanna, it means that Paes has been dropped from the Indian Davis Cup team on form for the first time in 27 years, since he made his debut against Japan in 1990 in Jaipur.
India’s singles challenge in the tie will be spearheaded by Ramkumar Ramanathan, after the injured Yuki Bhambri was replaced by Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Ramanathan will be up against Temur Ismailov in the first singles rubber tomorrow, after which Gunneswaran will take on Sanjar Fayziev.
Leander Paes currently stands on the cusp of creating Davis Cup history, locked on 42 wins with Italian legend Nico Pietrangeli and one win away from holding the record for most doubles wins in Davis Cup history.