Leander Paes
Leander Paes' experience will be crucial against the strong Czech Republic team.Reuters

Fourty-two-year old Indian tennis legend Leander Paes will strengthen team India as the multiple doubles grand slam champion has made a return to the Davis Cup team after missing the New Zealand tie.

Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvvarman and Yuki Bhambri are the other key players in the team as they are preparing for the World Group Play-off tie between India and Czech Republic, which will be held at RK Khanna Tennis stadium in Delhi from 18-20 September.

Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni are the reserve players for India during the crucial tie. When India faced New Zealand in July, it was Myneni, who played alongside Rohan Bopanna in the doubles fixture, but lost the tie. 

But with the return of Leander Paes in the manifold, the champion from India will be paired alongside Bopanna and make the doubles a major forte.

"The Selection Committee meeting was held a few days back and Leander Paes has been named in the team. Saketh Myneni has been dropped," selection committee chairman S P Mishra told PTI.

"Somdev Devvvarman and Yuki Bhambri will play the singles while Paes and Rohan Bopanna will play the doubles," he said.

After a brilliant display by Bhambri and Devvarman in the singles category, both the players will continue their display in the same format, but they have a huge task in their hand as the Czech Republic have some top players in their ranks to unsettle the Indian youngsters. 

Lukas Rosol and Jan Mertl are big names for the visitors.

"Leander had made himself available, so he and Rohan Bopanna were the obvious choice for the doubles. It's a strong doubles combination. Somdev and Yuki have been doing well and they too were easy choices for singles," coach Zeeshan Ali said.

The Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie is expected to be an interesting one for India, as the players are said to be a major force in their home turf and especially at RK KHanna Tennis stadium in Delhi, where the crowd pour in good numbers and support India to the hilt.

No wonder Indian players had voiced their desire to face the Czechs in Delhi, hence the All India Tennis Association officials also agreed to their demands. Now it is time to deliver for India against the Czech Republic.

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