Injured Leander Paes was on Tuesday picked up as non-playing captain of the India Davis Cup tennis team for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I first-round tie against Uzbekistan, to be played here next month.
While announcing the squad following a selection committee meeting here, the All India tennis Federation (AITA) said that Paes has informed it that he has a torn ligament. It said that Paes has also informed the federation that he was "trying his best to get fit for the tie" to be played at R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium February 8-10.
Mahesh Bhupathi, Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Varman are the other members of the squad while national hard court winner Ashutosh Singh and national grass court winner Vishnu Vardhan will be joining the team, said the AITA.
The AITA was confident that Paes would regain fitness in time for the tie. But even if he does not, he could be changed just before the tie starts.
"As per the Davis Cup Rules, a four-member team with non-playing captain has to be nominated 10 days before the tie. Two players can be changed till one hour before the draw Feb 7 by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit," said the AITA statement.
"The [selection] committee discussed various options and felt that we have to keep a very strong singles squad, as besides the doubles India has to win at least two singles matches against [Denis] Istomin and Farrukh Dustov."
The selection committee comprises Anil Dhupar (chairman), S.P. Misra (co-chairman), Akhtar Ali and Balram Singh.
Leander Paes (non-playing captain), Mahesh Bhupathi, Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Varman
Nandan Bal (coach), Sanjay Singh (physiotherapist) and Vece Paes (doctor)