Top singles players Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri on Saturday made a return to the Indian Davis Cup team even as Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna continued to be pariahs for the crucial tie against Indonesia in April.

The national selectors met in New Delhi on Saturday and, as expected, picked Somdev, Yuki, Sanam Singh and experienced campaigner Leander Paes for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I relegation play-off first round tie against Indonesia in Bangalore from April 5-7.

The All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) selection committee also named Vijayant Malik and N Sriram Balaji as reserves while Ram Kumar Ramnathan was picked for practice.

Meanwhile, S P Misra continued to be the non-playing captain while Zeeshan Ali will be the coach.

In the absence of 11 top players, who revolted against the AITA demanding better playing conditions, India had lost the Asia/Oceania Group I first round tie against South Korea 1-4 earlier this month.

The players ended their rebellion for the time being and made themselves available for the Indonesia tie after AITA agreed to improve the playing conditions and gave all the offers in writing.

Somdev, fifth-highest ranked Indian player at 354th, had beaten the world number 39 Benoit Paire of France in an ongoing ATP event in France.

Yuki is the highest-ranked Indian player in singles at 257th and that went in his favour during selection. He had won both his singles in the relegation play-off tie against New Zealand in September 2012 in Chandigarh.

For the doubles, the selection committee picked Sanam as Paes’ partner as Purav Raja was not retained for the tie.

Raja had supported Paes well in the tie against Korea, as the two registered the only victory for India.

Bhupathi and Bopanna were not considered for selection after they were axed from the side on disciplinary ground and handed two-year bans although a court had issued a stay order on the punishment.

The AITA also decided to persist with non-playing captain Misra, even though the players had demanded his replacement.

The Korea tie was supposed to be Misra’s farewell tie but the federation looks in no mood to replace him.


AITA to pick Indian Davis Cup team on SaturdayFebruary 22, 2013

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