Mahesh Bhupathi has said that although he was hurt by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) sacking him from the tennis team captaincy, he was not surprised at the treatment he received. Bhupathi believes that India will make light work of Pakistan when they meet in the Davis Cup on Friday.
Although the tie was moved to a neutral venue — Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan — the AITA decided to remove Bhupathi from his role as captain, replacing him with Rohit Rajpal. Earlier, Bhupathi had refused to travel to Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie on security grounds.
"A courtesy phone call saying 'listen we think it is time to put someone new in the system' and I would have respected that but I didn't even get that call. Honestly the way the federation has dealt with not only me but everyone in Indian tennis for the last 20 years, there is no surprise. But at some level it kind of hurts," Bhupathi told PTI.
"When they wanted me to become captain, they flew down to Hyderabad, had a meeting with me. I don't think at that time I was ready to take on captaincy, but they made a hard sell. They committed to a certain amount of support on what I wanted to create -- a system -- and got me to agree to take the job," he said.
According to Bhupathi, Team India will not have much trouble beating Pakistan regardless of the venue.
"It will be absolutely not difficult for them (Indian) to beat Pakistan anywhere in this world...we were always going to beat Pakistan regardless of where we played and who played for Pakistan. The bottom line is that now the good news is we have a semi-decent draw- if we win we are playing Croatia," Bhupathi added.