Leander Paes will get another chance to create history after the 44-year-old was named in the Indian squad for the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie against China to be played in Tianjin, China, next month.
Paes, who recently returned to the top-50 world ranking, can surpass Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli if he can register his 43rd wins in the Davis Cup against China.
There was little surprise in the team selection otherwise with singles specialists Yuki Bhambri, Ramnathan Ramkumar and Sumit Nagal picking themselves on the basis of their superior rankings with Rohan Bopanna completing the line up.
Paes’ inclusion in the team was under a cloud since captain Mahesh Bhupathi had dropped him from the tie against Uzbekistan last April and the decision had led to a bitter war of words between the two. He was also not considered for the World Group Play-off against Canada.
However, the All India Tennis Federation (AITA) had hinted on Saturday that Paes would be in contention for the tie against China stating that the experienced campaigner can bring a lot to the table.
Divij Sharan, who is ranked 44th in the world and is two spots ahead of Paes, has been named as a reserve while Purav Raja has been dropped.