India plot Davis Cup onslaught

INDIA will be unleashing their big guns in the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against South Africa at the Indoor Arena at Ellis Park from September 18 to 20.

INDIA will be unleashing their big guns in the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against South Africa at the Indoor Arena at Ellis Park from September 18 to 20.

The Indian Tennis Federation named a full-strength squad yesterday comprising Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri. SP Misra is the non-playing captain.

They will be taking on John-Laffnie de Jager's squad, comprising Rik de Voest, Izak van der Merwe, Wesley Moodie, Jeff Coetzee and Raven Klaasen.

According to Davis Cup rules the captains need to name a four-man team 10 days before the tie, though any two players can be changed up to one hour before the draw. But only players nominated in the squad can be selected.

At this stage De Jager has named De Voest, Van der Merwe, Moodie and Coetzee as his four-man team while India have selected Paes, Bhupathi, Bopanna and Devvarman.

In Bhupathi and Paes they have one of the world's best doubles combinations and the world's 162-ranked Devvarman will spearhead the singles. Devvarman is the highest-ranked singles player in the tie.

Their weakness could come in the No 2 singles but it is interesting to note the inclusion of the world's top-ranked junior, Yuki Bhambri, in their five-man squad.

A lot could hinge on the doubles match between Coetzee and Moodie against Bhupathi and Paes. - Sapa

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