Leander Paes made a comeback as India on Thursday announced an unprecedented eight-member squad for their Davis Cup tie against Pakistan.
Along with Paes, who returned to the Indian team after more than a year, India also picked Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sasi Kumar Mukund and Rohan Bopanna, who earlier had reservations on touring Pakistan due to the security concerns.
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Saketh Myneni and Siddharth Rawat also found places in the Indian squad which was announced by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) selection committee in New Delhi. AITA usually names a five-member squad with one or two reserve players.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is yet to take a call upon Pakistan Tennis Federation’s appeal to shift the November 29-30 tie out of Islamabad. But AITA decided to go ahead with the squad selection.
India’s singles challenge will be led by in-form Nagal, who is ranked 127 and Ramkumar, ranked 190 in the absence of top player Prajnesh Gunneswaran.
Mukund (250) and Myneni (267), meanwhile, will be the back up singles players.
The Indian squad has three doubles specialists in the form of Bopanna, Paes and Nedunchezhiyan, who has been rewarded for his consistent performances over the last two years.
Nagal, earlier, was not a part of the five-man squad which was announced when the Davis Cup tie was scheduled to take place on September 14-15. He had opted out citing an injury.
Divij Sharan and Prajnesh, who were named in the earlier squad, were unavailable for personal reasons as the new squad was announced.
Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sasi Kumar Mukund, Saketh Myneni, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Siddharth Rawat.
Captain: Rohit Rajpal
Coach: Zeeshan Ali
Physio: Anand Kumar
Team Manager: Sunder Iyer