Somdev Devvarman questions AITA’s need to remove Anand Amritraj

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Somdev Devvarman questions AITA’s need to remove Anand Amritraj

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SportsCafe Desk

12/08/2016

Indian tennis star Somdev Devvarman has come out in support of the beleaguered Anand Amritraj, who is the captain of India’s Davis Cup team. The AITA has previously hinted at the possibility to removing Amritraj over his failure to impose discipline in the team.

With media reports suggesting that the young players in the Indian Davis Cup squad had indulged in drinking and brought their girlfriends in the dressing room, the AITA has hinted at the possibility of sacking captain Anand Amritraj for his failure in imposing discipline. However, Somdev has questioned this call.

“In my opinion, Anand is a great captain, looking at the results. It’s hard for me to understand why we need a change. There is no reason to change the captain. We travelled Korea and we beat them in an away tie. That has never happened in our Davis Cup history,” Somdev told PTI.

Somdev said that despite his absence from the Davis Cup team recently due to injury concerns, he deserves to have an opinion on the issue. He said, “Yes I have not played a few ties but I have been there for almost 10 years.

“The youngsters have made mistakes but they have been addressed. Those mistakes have not been repeated, so it’s not that indiscipline has not been addressed. I myself have spoken to the youngsters and told them clearly what is acceptable and what not and they have listened. The juniors, seniors and the captain need to work together to take the team forward.”

Reports suggest that Amritraj’s criticism of the timing of the tie against the Spanish team has also irked the AITA. However, Somdev feels that the opinions of the players and the coaches should always be taken into account while scheduling of a tie.

“We, the players, understand more how we can be in best position to win. If I had played that tie against Spain, I would not have played in the evening.

“Whenever there is a panicky, uncomfortable situation, Anand has always helped me out with his input. In Bangalore during the Serbia tie, I had lost the first set and was down 2 sets to 1, but won 4th and 5th. Having Anand in those bad situations really helped me.

“Also when I was playing against Jiri Vesely during the Czech republic tie in Delhi, Anand told me to focus on serve and playing long points, engaging him more in rallies to put pressure and tire him out using my strengths. It helped me having him on the side,” Somdev explained.

Somdev also went on to say that Anand is someone who keeps in touch with the players even when they are not playing for the Davis Cup team. He said, “Anand is someone who will always make that effort to reach out to players and ask them about their game and well being even when we are not playing Davis Cup. I have tremendous respect for him when he sits on the bench. His experience is immense and expertise is very useful for Davis Cup ties.”

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