India's Davis Cup captain S P Mishra on Wednesday questioned the logic behind the demand for his ouster from the Davis Cup team by Somdev Devvarman, asking why the young player did not speak up when he played some of his best matches under him.
A livid Mishra said how can Somdev say that he is not attuned to the modern game.
"I was very upset when I heard that Somdev does not want me to be the captain of the side. He has played some of his best matches under my captaincy," Mishra said.
Indian tennis has been hit by yet another controversy as a core group of players, led by Somdev, advocated some changes in the way Davis Cup ties are organised in the country. One of the demands is change in support staff.
During his rise as India's numero uno singles player, Somdev beat one of the finest players while playing for India in the Davis Cup in the recent years.
When India played Brazil, Somdev beat Thomaz Bellucci (the world number 33), Janko Tipsarevic (then world number 9) against Serbia tie and also defeated Yen-Hsun Lu and Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei in another rubber.
Mishra pointed out that Somdev got these results when he was captain. So what has suddenly changed, he asked.
"It all looks like Somdev's brainchild and the younger players maybe just toeing it. They (Yuki Bhambri, Divij Sharan, Saketh Myneni) should concentrate on their future rather than in getting involved in this," Mishra said.
Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal also said that he was surprised by the players' statements, but added that he does not care a bit about what the players say.
"Look, I will not go by what players think. I work for AITA, they appointed me as the coach and if they want me to continue, I will continue. I want to stay out of it. As a professional, I am doing my job. There is no question of emotions being involved in it," Bal said.
India's next Davis Cup tie is scheduled to be held here from February 1-3 and the players have threatened to boycott the rubber if their demands are not met.
Mishra felt that maybe old issues have not died down as yet and the latest issue is merely an extension of that. "If they have some grouse with AITA, they should speak to them. How I come into the picture... I am surprised. I was appointed by AITA and if they want me to continue, I will continue," Mishra said.