: Former National champion Ankita Raina will replace the injured Sania Mirza in the Indian team for the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania group ‘I’ tennis tournament at the National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan, from February 6 to 9.
Sania injured her hip during the mixed doubles competition in the ongoing Australian Open.
Kyra Shroff, Rishika Sunkara and Rutuja Bhosale will be the other members of the team, with Enrico Piperno as the captain.
India has been drawn with Kazakhstan and Thailand in pool ‘A’. The other pool will comprise of four teams — China, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Uzbekistan.
The group toppers will meet in a play-off for a berth in the World Group ‘II’ play-off to be played in April.
The third-placed team in pool ‘A’ will face the fourth-placed team from pool ‘B’ and the loser would be relegated to the Asia-Oceania group ‘II’ for next season.
India will begin its campaign against Kazakhstan which will have Yaroslava Shvedova, Ksenia Pervak, Galina Voskoboeva and Sesil Karatantcheva in its ranks.
After a day’s rest, it will take on a Thailand team comprising of the seasoned Tamarine Tanasugarn, apart from Luksika Kumkhum, Nudnida Luangnam and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.
India has moved up to group ‘I’ from group ‘II’ last season. — Special Correspondent