“Sure, we have an all-win (5-0) record against them but we will not take this tie lightly as it is a ‘must win’ match for us after the loss to South Korea in February,” said Zeeshan Ali.
The former Davis Cupper blamed the defeat to Korea on India’s inability to field a full-strength team. “It was a missed opportunity and we could have won that tie with full team and later in October, we could have taken Japan on home courts, but I am glad all the boys are back and are keen to put on a good show.”
Zeeshan said the Indian team was yet to finalise the doubles combination, essentially who will partner veteran Leander Paes.
“Either it could be Leander with Yuki Bhambri or Leander and Sanam Singh. We will name the team before the tie,” Ali said.
The coach said the team would practise everyday from today, from 3 pm, and get used to conditions under lights later in the day. Incidentally, the singles matches are scheduled for a 3 pm start on the first and third day of the tie.
The two practice players, Ramanathan Ram Kumar and Arjun Khade, arrived Saturday along with the reserve players Vijayant Malik and Sriram Balaji. Non-playing captain SP Misra also arrived in the city in the evening.