Leander Paes aside, the Indian Davis Cup team is not attracting too much bets against South Korea. The new players in the squad - with backs to the wall - can however make their opportunity count.
New Delhi: After the recent controversies, there are two ways to look at the new Indian team for the Davis - depleted or fresh.
With Leander Paes as the only known face of the team which takes on South Korea from this Friday (February 1), here is taking a look at the other players who will look to prove a point against a strong opposition as well as against vocal critics of the association that picked them after it sidelined 'rebel' players protesting against their ways.
V.M. Ranjeet: His singles ranking may be 511 but Virali Murugesan Ranjeet has delivered strong performances in the past albeit mostly in domestic events.
At 27, Ranjeet has had a career-best rank of 417 which may not speak volumes of his ability. For someone who took to the sport at age 5, the passion with which he still approaches tennis always promises of something exceptional around the next corner.
Vijayant Malik: Belonging to the new and young brigade of Indian tennis, 22-year-old Malik has a singles ranking of 537.
He does not have the required experience and may feel the heat when the South Korean players showcase their talents.
Having played tennis since the age of 7, Malik can however put up a fight and will surely gain valuable experience which will help him better his record of 88-77 win-loss record in singles.
Purav Raja: He may well be the luckiest player in the Indian Davis Cup squad. With seasoned warhorse in Paes by his side, Raja will enter the doubles matches with a definite chance of a resounding win.
The 27-year-old has a highest doubles ranking of 130 and while that may have been as far back as in August 2010, the right-hander will surely try to match up to his more senior partner and tackle the South Koreans.
For reserve players in Ashwin Vijayaraghavan and Arjun Khade, it will also be a first-hand experience of what international tennis is all about.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 29 January 2013 13:17