New Delhi: India's non-playing captain Anand Amritraj's commiserations were with Saketh Myneni, who will miss the Davis Cup tie against Czech Republic, as Leander Paes has returned to the team after opting out of the New Zealand
Paes preferred to play for Washington Castles, one of the seven Franchisees in World Team Tennis event, when India travelled to Christchurch in July.
India's non-playing Davis Cup captain Anand Amritraj with players Yuki Bhambri (left), Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna during a press conference at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts in New Delhi on Tuesday ahead of the India-Czech Republic Davis Cup tie. Pic/PTI
Amritraj hailed 27-year-old Myneni as a team man. "He has been a rock. He expected it might happen and has taken it well. I have high regard for him. He has accepted the situation. When Lee wants to play, he gets to play but our team is stronger with Leander and Rohan playing the doubles rubber. Saketh is good but he does not have experience and he does not have the scare factor which Leander and Rohan have," Amritraj said before a practice session.
Asked if it was not unfair that Myneni has to warm benches when Paes plays at his convenience.
"It's been unfair to Saketh in my personal opinion. He has been with us in thick and thin. Last year Chinese Taipei and Korea were really difficult matches, which Rohan and Saketh played and won. This time in New Zealand we did not win, we played a difficult match. He is a good team player and that comes from college tennis in US. But this is how life is, he has accepted it which is great," the captain said.
Myneni made his Davis Cup debut against Chinese Taipei in February 2014 and has won two doubles and one singles match so far.
In the recent tie against New Zealand, he and Bopanna lost to Daniell Marcus and Artem Sitak in straight sets.
Amritraj said he felt "depressed" after that match and feared that India might lose the tie. But he said the Kiwi players displayed high quality tennis defying their low individual rankings.