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A tough test awaits India in Russia

Returning to the elite World Group of Davis Cup after 11 years, an acid test awaits India when they take on formidable Russia in their first round tie in Moscow on Friday.

world Updated: Mar 04, 2010 13:44 IST

Returning to the elite World Group of Davis Cup after 11 years, an acid test awaits India when they take on formidable Russia in their first round tie in Moscow on Friday.

Even in the absence of world number six Nikolay Davydenko, the hosts would be hard to beat as India have an in-form Mikhail Youzhny to deal with.

World number 13 Youzhny is coming into the tie after finishing runners-up at ATP events in Dubai and Rotterdam and will be a tough nut to crack for India's number one player Somdev Devvarman.

The gritty Somdev has been making waves on the Tour but it's a different ball game altogether when the opponents are the likes of Youzhny.

Igor Andreev, world number 38, has been named as injured Davydenko's replacement and he too is no easy meat.

For India to have any chance in the tie, Somdev will have to play out of his skin to pull off an upset win on day one.

That will give Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi a chance to consolidate the position but again it will boil down to reverse singles and yet again Somdev will be under pressure to pull it off.

Rohan Bopanna has been doing well in doubles on Tour off late but his singles form is not much to talk about against top-notch opponents.

India captain S P Misra knows the job is tough but said India will fight hard.