The selection panel has announced the team for the upcoming Davis Cup qualifiers event against Italy in Kolkata to be held on February 1 and 2. Yuki Bhambri missed out on a spot while Divij Sharan has been picked after a seven-year hiatus in a team which seemed picked on the basis of rankings.
Divij Sharan has made a comeback to the Indian squad for the Davis Cup qualifiers after he had last participated in the event back in 2012. The event is scheduled to be held on February 1 and 2 in Kolkata. A PTI report has stated that the team for the tie against Italy was largely picked on the basis of the ITF rankings of the players.
“It picked the best four available singles players and the top-two doubles player,” said the source to PTI.
Divij Sharan ranked 39th in the doubles category, will partner Rohan Bopanna for the men’s doubles event. Bopanna currently is India’s best-ranked player in the men’s doubles category with the ranking of 37th. Prajnesh Gunneswaran (110) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (132) will represent India in the singles category as Yuki Bhambri misses out due to a knee injury. Saketh Myneni (259), who was the runner-up at the Bengaluru Challenger event and has already qualified for the Tata Open Maharashtra, has also been included.
N Sriram Balaji and Arjun Kadhe, who was a reserve member, have been dropped from the team. Young Sasi Kumar Mukund, who has impressed everyone in the 2018 season with substantial improvement in his ranking going to 295 from a lowly 426 at the start of the year, has also secured a place. On the other hand country’s third highest ranked doubles player Leander Paes (63) has been left out.
SQUAD : Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Divij Sharan, Rohan Bopanna, Saketh Myneni and Sasi Kumar Mukund.