Pakistan’s chances to win the Davis Cup tie against India have doubled as the new Indian squad without their key players would not be able to put up a tough fight, former Davis Cup captain Hameed-ul-Haq said while speaking to The News on Thursday.
The tie is scheduled from November 29-30 in Islamabad.
India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi and star doubles player Rohan Bopanna have refused to travel to Pakistan. Besides, top singles players Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sumit Nagal and Sasi Kumar Mukund have also expressed their reluctance to travel to Islamabad.
Moreover, India’s highest-ranked singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be unavailable for the tie as he is getting married on November 29.
Hameed said the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-I tie would be played on the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex which give the home team an extra advantage.
The former Davis Cup captain recalled last year’s home match in which Pakistan defeated a strong Korea team 4-0 which proved that the team can do the same again with good tactical planning.
Hameed suggested the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) to allow the players to practice on home ground.
“In order to reap the home court advantage, the team should be allowed to practise on the match court before the arrival of the ITF Referee,” he said.
“Because once the referee arrives the practice timing on the match court is distributed equally between the teams, nullifying our home court advantage.”
In addition to this he said that the winning bonus received from the ITF should not be diverted to other projects as it is meant for the players and PTF should distribute it among the players.
The Indian team will be led by Leander Paes. The list submitted by the Indian tennis authorities to Pakistan for visa processing has the following names: Saketh Myneni, Arjun Kadhe, Vijay Sundar Prashanth, N Sriram Balaji, Siddharth Rawat and Manish Suresh Kumar.
The support staff consists of coach Syed Zeeshan Ali, manager Sunder Narayan Iyer and physiotherapist Anand Kumar.