The decision was taken by the team of selectors from the All India Tennis Association (AITA), who met on Saturday to pick the Davis Cup team. It’s the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I tie against New Zealand in Chandigarh from September 14-16.
The selectors clearly seem to be in favour of young blood this time around with Leander Paes and Somdev Devvarman unavailable for selection.
Hesh-Bopanna, on the other hand, are facing disciplinary action for their rebellious act ahead of the London Olympics. AITA is sending out a strong message with this decision of intolerance of such acts in the future.
While Paes wants to play in the World Team Tennis competition in Charleston, US, Somdev is still not fit enough for the Davis Cup tie although he is likely to play in the US Open
The Indian team for now comprises of Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan, Saketh Myneni, Divij Sharan, Sanam Singh and N Sriram Balaji competing in the tie.
However, the squad will be trimmed to four before September 2, when the team will be notified to the ITF.
Yuki is the highest ranked player in the side and the only one in the top-200 at 191, followed by Vardhan (285), Myneni (387), Balaji (390) and Sanam (415).
Surprisingly, the AITA chose left-handed Divij, who is ranked as low as 1310 over other players who are ranked above him such as Vijyant Malik (470), Karan Rastogi (481) and VM Ranjeet (490).
The last time India played New Zealand was in 2004, when it had triumphed 3-2 in the away tie.
The head-to-head record is tied at 3-3.