Davis Cup 2020 Qualifiers: India or Pakistan to play against Croatia to qualify for Davis Cup Finals
With the conclusion of this year's Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals that was held at the Caja Magica in Spain, all eyes are now set on the qualifiers for next year. The tension is already on the rise despite the decreasing temperature in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan where India will have to clash against Pakistan in the Asia Oceania Group 1 tie to get a stand a real chance for next year. Having missed out on the 108th edition of the Davis Cup, the Indian team has been posed with a challenge from the Pakistani team and freezing conditions in Nur-Sultan.
Following a heated controversy regarding the original location of the tie which was to be held in Islamabad during September of 2019, a neutral location was chosen and the dates postponed. Due to that Nur-Sultan was chosen as the venue for the all-important tie between India and Pakistan, which would reveal who will go into the qualifiers against Croatia next year.
Having first made their appearance in the Davis Cup way back in 1921, the Indian team can boast of the record of having played there for 81 years. On the other hand, Team Pakistan made their tryst with the Davis Cup in 1948 and has only played for 42 years. Notwithstanding the statistical facts, the conditions for playing is equally harsh to the neighboring nations as they are currently camping in -9 degree celsius situations, in the run-up to their November 29-30 tie. The winner of this tie will automatically go into the qualifiers that will be held in March. Team Croatia, the 2018 Champions, will be waiting eagerly to greet either the Indian or the Pakistani side.
To be fair, India has the better experience in Davis Cup, given how they have held the runners-up position on three different occassions- 1966, 1974 and 1987. But one cannot simply ignore the 32-year drought in the titles and there are a lot of expectations on the Indian team. Currently, the team comprises of Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Leander Paes, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Siddharth Rawat. The youngsters in the group will definitely be looking to Paes to guide them here.
While the Indian and Pakistani teams are battling the weather out there and preparing for their tie which will be held in a heated indoor court, there is no forgetting how crucial this encounter will be. With the challenge of Croatia in the distant future, the neighboring nations must clash to discover their chances for a place in Davis Cup Finals in 2020.