Rohan Bopanna on Saturday returned to the country’s Davis Cup squad after a two-year gap as AITA named a six-member team for the Asia/Oceania Group I contest against Chinese Taipei, starting January 31 in Indore.
Since Leander Paes has opted out of the national duty in 2014 due to family reasons and Mahesh Bhupathi ignored once again, Bopanna is the sole doubles specialist in the team.
AITA handed Davis Cup debut to Saketh Myneni, who will play doubles with Bopanna, while Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri will lead India’s challenge in singles.
Myneni, ranked 318th, was chosen ahead of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (314), who is the third—highest ranked player in singles after Somdev (93) and Yuki (172).
Myeneni was rewarded for his superior singles record against Jeevan and his stellar performance at the Chennai Open, where he along with his Russian partner Karen Khachanov shocked the top—seeded pair of Bopanna and Aisam—ul—Haq Qureshi en route to the semifinals.
The selection panel, led by Anil Dhupar, named Jeevan and Sanam Singh as reserve players while the fast—rising Ramkumar Ramanathan, who shocked Somdev at Chennai Open, is a special invitee to the squad.
The panel dropped Vijayant Malik and N Sriram Balaji from the reserves list. Sanam was in the playing squad in the last tie against Indonesia in Bangalore.