Former Davis cupper S.P. Misra donned the role a non-playing captain of India for one last time and guided the team to a 5-0 win over Indonesia
It was a fitting farewell for the genteel Hyderabadi S. P. Misra.
For this former Davis cupper from the city had donned the role of non-playing captain of India for one last time and is leaving on a high note guiding India to a 5-0 win over Indonesia last weekend and ensuring that it stayed in the Asia-Oceania Group I in 2014.
This gentleman player of yesteryears who continues to be a member of the national selection panel said though India was expected to win, few expected the 5-0 win.
“We honestly expected Yuki Bhambri to face some tough fight against the Indonesian No. 1 Christopher Rungkat. But, to his credit, he played brilliantly,” he remarked.
Given the turbulence which has hit Indian tennis of late what with the leading guns involved in a bitter fight with the AITA, Mr. Misra feels it was a tough job to be non-playing captain.
“Fortunately, I had the full support of the entire team (which had Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh too who had revolted against AITA). They really enjoyed the whole match and the camaraderie was wonderful given the way they mixed up their training sessions with a bit of cricket and football too,” he recalled.
“It is important for Indian tennis that the players resolve their dispute with the AITA and regroup as a team. India is known as a force to reckon with in Davis Cup,” averred Mr. Misra.
“It’s a great honour and a challenge to be the non-playing captain of the Indian team for six years. It’s not easy to handle this assignment as you have to interact with many people including the referee, players, VIPs. But, I have no regrets and did my best,” he said. Under his captaincy, the team remained in the World Group for the second time in the last 11 years.
Playing under lights for the first time was a welcome novelty for fans as it enabled many to come and watch the matches in the evenings, he says.