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Start playing together: Amritraj to Lee-Hesh

Former Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj suggests that Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes play together in preparation for the Beijing Olympics.

sports Updated: Dec 31, 2007 17:54 IST

Former Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj today suggested that Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes should start playing together to be well prepared before the Beijing Olympics.

"They have been the best in the world at one point of time. They have been there, done that. But yes, you do not want to be rusty when you get there (Olympics). So it will be nice if they play a few tournaments together," he said.

Amritraj feels that India stands a good chance to win a medal in men's doubles.

"With Lee-Hesh (Leander-Mahesh) in doubles...We have a very good chance of a medal there.

"Sania (Mirza), if she get a little break in the draw, you do occasionally need a little bit of luck like that...If she gets a little break in the draw...You can find yourself suddenly in the semi-finals."

The former player looked disappointed at Paes and Bhupathi's decision to skip the Chennai Open.

"When you have a major event in the country, every Indian should look at it as an opportunity to represent the country. This is like the Davis Cup. When you play for the country, there is absolutely no substitute," he said.

Amritraj was also pleased at increasing popularity of the game and growing opportunities in the country.

"We have a lot more kids playing the game, more sponsors, more coaches who go abroad. Now there are 52 international tournaments happening in the country, which gives our players more opportunity to play on local surfaces against international players," he said.

Amritraj said the 'challenge' rule, with the use of 'Hawk eye' technology was one of the best additions to the game since the tie breaker rule was introduced.

"I would love to get hawk eye here (Chennai open) next year," he said.

"The only thing I am worried about is that we might lose the human element in the game, if we use too much of technology," he added.