Tennis

Davis Cup | Rohit Rajpal to be India’s non-playing captain against Pakistan

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The move signals the end of Mahesh Bhupathi’s era

The national tennis federation on Monday named former India player and chairman of the its selection panel, Rohit Rajpal as India’s non-playing captain for the upcoming away Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, signalling end of Mahesh Bhupathi’s era.

There was speculation that veteran Leander Paes could be considered for the job after the 46-year-old made himself available following pull-outs from top players and skipper Bhupathi.

The November 29-30 contest in Islamabad has already been rescheduled once owing to security concerns raised by India.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) decided to appoint Rajpal at its Executive Committee (EC) meeting which was followed by Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Chandigarh.

“Former President Anil Khanna and incumbent Praveen Mahajan proposed Rohit Rajpal’s name and everyone agreed. Rajpal will go to Pakistan as non-playing captain and this arrangement is only for this tie, as of now,” an AITA source said.

Asked if Rajpal will stay on as captain if the ITF shifts the tie to a neutral venue, an AITA official said, “Yes, there will not be any change as of now irrespective of whether the tie is played in Islamabad or at any neutral venue.”

Rajpal made his Davis Cup debut in 1990 against Korea in Seoul, where India suffered a 0-5 whitewash. That was the only time Rajpal represented the country, losing the dead fourth rubber 1-6 2-6 to Jae-Sik Kim.

Zeeshan welcomes move

Zeeshan Ali, who will travel with the team as coach, welcomed the move.

“He will be fourth captain since I took up the coach’s job. Rohit knows the game and is also an administrator. He may not know the younger players very well but he is a friendly person, who has tennis as his priority. He has been on Davis Cup team with me and knows what is required,” said Zeeshan.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 7:20:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/davis-cup-rohit-rajpal-to-be-indias-non-playing-captain-against-pakistan/article29880997.ece

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