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Selection for Davis Cup will be decided on fitness: Coach

Last updated on: September 12, 2012 14:43 IST

Faced with problem of plenty, India's Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal said, the doubles combination for the Davis Cup tie against New Zealand will be decided on the basis of players' fitness levels and weather conditions.

In the squad of six, five play doubles quite well and in the absence of the battle-hardened pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, it will be quite a task to pick the right combination for the tie starting on Friday.

Reserve player Divij Sharan is the highest-ranked player in doubles at 94 and has won two Challengers this season. Vishnu Vardhan has also shown his class at the London Olympics in the elite company of Leander Paes. Yuki Bhambri has figured consistently in the Challenger doubles and Sanam Singh is an Asian Games doubles gold medallist.

Bal said Saketh Myneni too has a big serve and has been playing well in the camp so ultimately it will boil down to whose fitness is best in hot conditions.

"The conditions are hot and muggy. It might happen that two players play singles on day one and then two different players play doubles on day two. It will also depend on fitness of the players. We are keeping a watch," Bal said.

"All six are in the mix. It is all in the open. We are trying different combinations everyday," he added before heading for the practice session with the team.

Bal has been training world class players in Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvarman in the recent years during Davis Cup ties but this time he is training a very young team.

"It's a happy young team. There is a lot of exuberance. They are a committed lot. From a coach's point of view, it's a terrific bunch. They listen to you," he said.

Bal played down the fact that the Indian players are a bit inexperienced when compared to the Kiwis.

"Yuki, Sanam and Vishnu have all played before and are regular on the Tour. They have played at the Asian Games, Olympics, so you cannot say they are inexperienced."

The coach said the conditions suit India and that will be an advantage.

"It's hot and muggy. We are used to the conditions. So we have that advantage with us. Hopefully we should be standing on the winning side," he concluded.

Meanwhile, non-playing captain S P Misra said, "The selection committee has given us four final players. There has to be a good reason to replace any one of them."

A captain can change the final line-up one hour before the draw, which will be made on Thursday.

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