The All-India Tennis Association (AITA) has expectedly axed Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna from the Indian team that will take on New Zealand in the Asia-Oceania Davis Cup relegation play-off in Chandigarh from September 14 to 16.
The selection committee, which met here on Saturday, was advised by the AITA that Bhupathi and Bopanna were not to be considered for the tie because of their stand during the selection of the Olympic team, as per the decision taken by the Executive Committee in July.
Bhupathi and Bopanna had refused to partner Leander Paes for the Olympics, insisting that they be entered as a pair since they had prepared together solely with the aim of competing in the Games. Paes eventually partnered Vishnu Vardhan. None of the Indian doubles teams made an impact in the Olympics.
With Paes and Somdev Devvarman expressing their inability for this home tie and Bhupathi and Bopanna being sidelined as a disciplinary measure, the AITA selectors perforce had to pick a new-look team.
The team is spearheaded by Yuki Bhambri and Vishnu Vardhan. The AITA panel, headed by Anil Dhupar, also announced the names of Saketh Myneni, Divij Sharan, Sanam Singh and Sriram Balaji in a six-member team.
The captain, S. P. Mishra, in consultation with the selection committee chairman, will finalise the four members by September 2.