The Indian team looked confident on the eve of their departure for the Junior Davis Cup final which will be held in Antalya, Turkey, from November 1-6.
India’s men’s Under-16 team qualified in style by winning the Asia-Oceania competition in Delhi earlier this season.
Although there were two changes from the three-member squad that progressed to the World Group, captain and coach Sajid Lodi was happy with the squad.
Rushil Khosla was the hero of the team that won the event, but his teammates Bushan Haobam and Debasis Sahoo slipped in the standings and dropped out of the team.
In their place, Kriish Tyagi and Vansh Nandal have earned their place with strong performances at national and international level.
“Our team is strong and we have a good chance of finishing in the top 8. We’ll take it from there,” Sajid said, even as he singled out Rushil for particular praise.
“Until he played Junior Davis Cup, we only knew Rushil as a southpaw, especially good in doubles. But the way he played against Iran and Japan, we know Rushil is He has become an excellent player. He has played very well in the ITF youth events. He generates a lot of spin and will have the advantage on the clay courts of Antalya,” coach Sajid observed.
The captain also pointed out that Kriish is improving with each tournament and has won the ITF junior tournaments. Kriish, 15, has the distinction of winning the national title in the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 sections.
“Vansh is doing well too,” said Sajid, acknowledging the good results.
Vansh was distraught when he was dropped from the squad at the last minute for the qualifying round after being selected, but remained calm to strengthen his game.
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain and the United States United, with the exception of host Turkey, will be the other teams in contention.
India’s Best Show was ranked fourth in 2008.