Forget the feuds,let kids play

Dead rubbers are often conducted with perfunctory interest and participation,and the ones of a Davis Cup tie are no different

Written by Raakesh Natraj | Published:September 14, 2012 1:22 am

Dead rubbers are often conducted with perfunctory interest and participation,and the ones of a Davis Cup tie are no different. The truncated fifth game of a tie whose outcome is foregone is usually reserved for debutants,and it is in one such instance that Yuki Bhambri earned his first cap three years ago.

The current tie against New Zealand though,will be an exception with the entire Indian contingent — Bhambri,Divij Sharan,Vishnu Vardhan,Sanam Singh and Saketh Myneni — having a combined total of four caps between them.

Events leading up to the tie have seen all the seniors either pull out or get the axe (Somdev Devvarman’s injury ensures that he isn’t a part of this discussion). But nevertheless,it has all ended with the youngsters starting off with the sheet wiped clean — the side is a good three ties and 15 games from the World Group; the opponents occupy equally lowly rungs of the rating chart; the event itself does not carry official rating points or too much in terms of prize money.

Moreover,in the absence of the feuding elders,there is no subterfuge and little talk or energy expended in displays assuring everyone of the squad’s unity of purpose. In other words,there is no pressure on or off the field and all that’s left is for the kids to go play some tennis.

Welcome as the developments are,that we are at such a pass is not by virtue of the steady actions of a single person or body working towards a reasoned end. So there is all the chance that when this young side makes progress and the stakes get higher (or more so if they fail a few times),there will arise the temptation to place the regressive call for the seniors. If and when that allurement is resisted,the prospects of the current bunch,however unfamiliar the names and unflattering their rankings,will only get brighter.

raakesh.natraj@expressindia.com

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