India, Uzbek hit the ground running

India, Uzbek hit the ground running
A relaxed-looking Indian team sweated it out under the supervision of coach Zeeshan Ali and captain Mahesh Bhupathi on Monday, tuning themselves up nicely for the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I second round tie against Uzbekistan.

The Indians, who hold a 2-2 record against their rivals, warmed up with a game of frisbee before choosing to hit the balls under lights at the KSLTA courts.

While Ramkumar Ramanathan and N Sriram Balaji slugged it out against each other on the centre court, southpaw Prajnesh Gunneswaran and reserve player Rohan Bopanna had a hit on the adjacent court.

Uzbekistan, sans their ace player Denis Istomin, had a hit in the morning as well in the blazing hot sun in the afternoon.

Indian coach Zeeshan, meanwhile, said veteran Leander Paes, the second reserve player in the team, is slated to arrive on Tuesday morning. It will be interesting to see if Bhupathi picks his former doubles partner who is one win away from creating a new Davis Cup record for most doubles victories. Paes is currently tied on 42 with Italian legend Nico Pietrangeli.

Ever since Bhupathi announced the team with four singles players, he has stressed that there won’t be a place for two doubles players in the side. Clarity on the team composition could be known on Tuesday when Bhupathi addresses the media.

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