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It's advantage India at Davis Cup tie vs Pak

November 19, 2019 14:10 IST

'The quality of tennis is better playing indoors because factors like sun and wind do not affect the matches.'

Leander Paes

IMAGE: India coach Zeeshan Ali (left) says, 'if you look at the teams on paper, India is a stronger side and won't have any problem in tackling Pakistan but anything can happen in Davis Cup. You cannot take any match for granted'. Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI

India take on Pakistan in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and there could not have been better news for the former as the Davis Cup tie is set to be held indoors.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), on Tuesday, nominated the Kazakhstan capital to host the matches, ending days of uncertainty over the venue.

The matches will be played on indoor courts since extreme cold conditions there won't allow them to be staged outside.

 

"Playing indoors, suits our players. It will work in our favour, not that our players can't play on grass but they a lot more comfortable on hard courts. The weather conditions are harsh and though we are playing indoors, it still affects the body," India coach Zeeshan Ali told PTI.

"The quality of tennis is better playing indoors because factors like sun and wind do not affect the matches."

The side will be led by top singles players Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan while veteran Leander Paes and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan are likely to pair up for the doubles.

Top doubles player Rohan Bopanna pulled out of the tie on Monday after suffering a shoulder injury.

Zeeshan said Bopanna's pulling out has proved that selecting three doubles specialist was a wise decision.

"It was a right call to have specialists as reserves. Bopanna is out and we have Jeevan to come in for him. We can't name the playing five now but Jeevan is next person to get into playing squad. We will definitely miss Rohan.

"We have singles players who can play doubles as well, like Ramkumar but having a doubles specialist means that singles players won't have to worry that they may be required to play doubles.

"It is good to have left-right combination (Jeevan and Leander Paes). If you look at the teams on paper, India is a stronger side and won't have any problem in tackling Pakistan but anything can happen in Davis Cup. You cannot take any match for granted," he said, cautioning that taking Pakistan lightly is not a good idea despite the absence of higher-ranked players in the opposition ranks.

"Pressure is different in Davis Cup because you are not playing for yourself but for your country. So we picked our best players."

Pakistan's best player Aisam has pulled out of the tie in protest against shifting of the venue, which may further weaken the Pakistan team.

"That's not our concern. Our job is to win the tie," said Zeeshan.

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