India’s non-playing skipper Mahesh Bhupathi has dropped Leander Paes and picked Rohan Bopanna in his final four-man team for India’s Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I tie against Uzbekistan, scheduled from April 7 to April 9 in Bengaluru.
Coach Zeeshan Ali confirmed this news on Thursday.
Bhupathi had previously selected Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N. Sriram Balaji for the tie, and had kept both Paes and Bopanna as reserves in the squad.
However, following Bhambri’s withdrawal due to his knee injury, it was speculated that either of Paes and Bopanna would be included in the team as the fourth member.
Yesterday, Paes had even started his training with an eye on being selected in the team’s playing four.
Bopanna will now partner Balaji in the doubles rubber that will be played on April 8 whereas Gunneswaran and Balaji will be making their debut in the team-based event.
It should be noted that Bopanna, ranked World No. 24, is India’s highest ranked doubles player.