Bhupathi may not be India’s captain

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Jan 2019 12:22:55


New Delhi,

The national tennis federation may not renew the contract of Mahesh Bhupathi as captain of the Indian Davis Cup team if it fails to qualify for the World Group Finals, it has been learnt. The tie will be hosted on grass court of Calcutta South Club on February 1 and 2. India are up against formidable Italy but playing the hard-court specialists on grass at the Calcutta South Club gives the hosts some chance of an upset.

Incidentally, the only time India won against Italy in five meetings was at this very venue way back in 1985.
The winner of the tie will compete in the inaugural World Group Finals, to be held in Madrid in November this year.
It has been learnt that the All India Tennis Association (AITA) may look for a new captain, if the team will remain in the Asia/Oceania Group I, as Bhupathi's term will be over after this contest.

"Yes, it will be extremely difficult for Mahesh to remain captain if the result is not favourable. The regional matches will not begin before next year, so AITA will have some time to ponder over the next skipper," an AITA source told PTI.
It also remains to be seen if Bhupathi himself wants to continue as captain even if India cross the Italian hurdle.
Bhupathi had replaced Anand Amritraj as captain in April 2017. The Italy tie will be fifth under Bhupathi.