Team selection wide open: Zeeshan

Team selection wide open: Zeeshan
With less than a month to go for India’s Asia/Oceana Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan Group I match here, coach Zeeshan Ali is happy that his squad members are getting enough match practice. The former Davis Cupper praised the selection committee for picking youngsters Sriram Balaji and Prajnesh Gunneswaran for the rubber scheduled from April 7 to 9.

At the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis to watch the ITF Futures between Balaji and Prajnesh, Zeeshan spoke to media on various aspects concerned to the Davis Cup tie. Excerpts: On India’s preparations: Rohan (Bopanna) and Leander (Paes) are playing in the US right now. So leading up to the tie, the good thing is that all the six players are playing matches. That's the best preparation we can have. The team is getting together on April 2. That gives us some extra sessions to get acclimatised. I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that by the time everybody lands here they are all fit and free of any injury. That’s the last thing yo want. But with the amount of tennis they have been playing, I don't think that's an issue. It’s the best preparation we can have.

On the final four players: The final four needs to be announced 10 days before the tie, but the other two players who are the reserves can be brought in till an hour before the draw ceremony on April 6. We will name the four players but they may not necessarily be the final four. We will leave that completely open. It will depend on how the final week is going pan out here. The way they are practising, the fitness issues and all will be looked at.

On Balaji and Prajnesh: It is definitely an excellent choice by the selection committee to choose both Balaji and Prajnesh in the squad. Both the boys have been doing extremely well in the last couple of weeks. They have got a lot of matches under their belt. They will be playing in Thiruvananthapuram next week. It's a great preparation for the Davis Cup. This circuit of ITF has definitely helped us.

On Balaji’s selection: He has a good record in singles and doubles and that's the reason we have him in the squad. There are six players we need to choose from and the way he has been playing, he will be one of the top contenders to play singles or doubles.

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