Tennis

Davis Cup | India all set for Kazakh trip

Point to ponder: Captain Rohit Rajpal, centre, and coach Zeeshan Ali with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan during training in Delhi on Saturday.

Point to ponder: Captain Rohit Rajpal, centre, and coach Zeeshan Ali with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan during training in Delhi on Saturday.  

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Injured Sasi Kumar Mukund pulls out

The Indian team went through a cheerful but intense training session to sharpen its game on Saturday afternoon, on the eve of its departure for Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan, which is going through sub-zero temperature.

Leander Paes, into his 30th year of Davis Cup service, was the centre of attraction for the fans gathered at the venue.

Team not affected

Captain Rohit Rajpal said the final touches were being given to the arrangements, even as news trickled in that Sasi Kumar Mukund had withdrawn from the tie, owing to an ankle injury suffered during a Challenger doubles match in Portugal.

Coach Zeeshan Ali said the team was quite capable of taking such setbacks in its stride.

We are not concerned about the situation. Injuries happen, especially at the end of the season, as the players compete for about 35 to 40 weeks a year. We have enough players to take care of singles and doubles,” said Zeeshan Ali.

Sumit Nagal had trained on Friday, and was busy with other commitments like visiting his school as chief guest on Saturday. “Sumit was fit and hitting the ball well yesterday. He must be keen to get his first win in Davis Cup,” said Zeeshan.

“The players have all been competing on the circuit regularly and are sharp. If they want to give back by inspiring the kids, it is fine. We will have about five days of practice in Nur Sultan and that will be enough,” said the coach.

Balaji chips in

Zeeshan was particularly appreciative of Sriram Balaji for training with the team, even though he was not playing the Davis Cup.

“All the players got together nicely and trained with such energy. They all play a high quality game. The original idea for the camp in Delhi was to compete in Islamabad. Even when things changed, we stuck to the plan, and it was good to have all the players together,” said Zeeshan.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 7:11:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/davis-cup-india-all-set-for-kazakh-trip/article30062896.ece

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