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India's team for Davis Cup tie against China announced, Leander Paes makes a comeback

Sohinee Basu
ANALYST
News
1.22K   //    11 Mar 2018, 14:17 IST

Day Four: The Championships - Wimbledon 2014
Leander Paes

What's the story?

After a long wait, the buzz that was circling around the potential selection of Leander Paes in the Indian Davis Cup team has been confirmed finally. The selectors met on Sunday morning and decided the squad and the 44-year-old ace tennis player got chosen once again to represent India in the Davis Cup and is looking to make a wonderful comeback.

Here's the full squad:

1) Yuki Bhambri

2) Ramkumar Ramanathan

3) Sumit Nagal

4) Rohan Bopanna

5) Leander Paes

6) Divij Sharan (Reserve)

In case you didn't know...

Leander Paes was dropped from the team when India went up against Uzbekistan last April. Owing to rumoured disputes between Bhupati-Bopanna and Paes, he was kept out of the team since the Bengaluru fiasco that took place last year. 

The heart of the matter

The AITA Selectors felt that "Paes brings a lot on the table in terms of experience,” and therefore it would be a wise decision to include him in the squad. Making decisions keeping aside the bitter spats between Bopanna-Bhupathi and Paes is the safest option any day for when it comes to the Davis Cup, playing for the nation's glory comes to mind.

There was little surprise in rest of the team as singles specialists Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal were all picked on the basis of their superior rankings. Veteran doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna completed the lineup.

Divij Sharan, ranked 44th in the world, has been named as a reserve player. Purav Raja had to face the axe at Paes' disposal.

What's next?

India is all set to face China next month, April. Not only that, Leander has a very enviable record in Davis Cup matches and has been victorious a record 42 times.

However, the former doubles World No. 1 player will be dismantling Nicola Pietrangeli's 42 record wins if Paes manages to defeat the Chinese team next month and secure a 43rd match win and a clinch a crucial world record.

Author's take

With greats like Leander Paes and Roger Federer who seem to grow better with age, tennis is seeing some wonderful times. The Indian tennis scenario is particularly on the rise with Bhambri making it well in the Indian Wells and Leander making it back to the Davis Cup squad at 44 years of age.

With his added experience, India's chances of faring well in the Davis Cup has definitely risen and we cannot wait for the Calcutta boy to charm us again with his brilliant display of age-defying tennis and topple and create records with his aces.

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Sohinee Basu
ANALYST
I am this teeny-tiny adult kid with a horrible obsession of poetry and words. It will be too less to say that I love everything about tennis and a certain Roger Federer also! I love everything from the smell of old books to the thrill of watching tight matches!
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