What Leander Paes and I achieved as team will never be replicated in Indian tennis: Mahesh Bhupathi

first_imgFormer doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday reminisced about the heydays shared with doubles partner Leander Paes and asserted that what the pair have achieved for Indian tennis won’t ever be replicated.”Let’s put controversies aside. What we achieved as a team between 1996-2002 will never be replicated in Indian tennis,” the non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team said on the sidelines of a book launch here.”Two kids coming up from below 100 to be No.1 is amazing. Things didn’t work out for various reasons. We have tried a lot of times and I don’t think you can fault us for not trying.”We kept giving our best shot because we know how special a relationship it is for not just us but the country as well,” said Bhupathi, who formed a formidable doubles partnership with Paes for over 16 years and won 25 ATP doubles title together, including three Grand Slams.In the Davis Cup, the duo stitched together a comprehensive record of 23 doubles rubber victories on the trot, right up to the 2010 World Group Play-offs against Brazil that India won 3-2.Recently, the estranged pair washed their dirty linen in public, taking pot shots at each other following India’s 4-1 win over Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 1 Round 2 match in Bengaluru.Bhupathi termed his former partner ‘unprofessional’ for ‘sulking’ after being dropped from the team, and leaving the tie midway through.India’s top ranked doubles player Rohan Bopanna and Paes had been in contention for the only doubles spot available in the three-singles-one-doubles combination Bhupathi had opted for.advertisementPaes accused Bhupathi of showing bias while Bhupathi revealed a Whatsapp exchange the two had shared where Paes had promised to be part of the six-member team even if he did not make the cut of four.India will take on Canada in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff in what would be an away tie from September 15 to 17. Asked whether there is a chance of Paes being included in the team, Bhupathi said: “We will see. We have a very tough match against Canada in September. We have a chance of going into the World Group.”On Indian tennis being on an upward spiral, Bhupathi said: “We are going in the right direction. We have a lot of players ranked between 200-300 now. Indian tennis is at its best depth today. So hopefully a couple of those players will make the next transition and into the top 100 which is what makes the difference for us.”last_img read more

There is no more AB de Villiers: Jonty Rhodes on South Africa’s opening losses in CWC19

first_imgAfter South Africa suffered their second consecutive defeat in the ongoing World Cup 2019, fans on social media pointed out that the Proteas are missing the services of batting great AB de Villers and injured pacer Dale Steyn. They have gone on to add that their presence could have made the difference for the Faf du Plessis-led side.But former South Africa all-rounder Jonty Rhodes begged to differ and said that it was high time that the Proteas realised that de Villiers had retired and he wouldn’t be available for selection. While South Africa lost by 104 runs against hosts England in their campaign opener, the Proteas lost by 21 runs against Bangladesh on Sunday.Rhodes took to Twitter and said that relying on a couple of players wouldn’t work and it was a case of some poor batting which resulted in South Africa’s second defeat in the showpiece event. After Sunday’s game, a fan told Rhodes: “Your country (South Africa) is seeing the lack of AB (de Villers) and (Dale) Steyn in the matches.”The 49-year-old then replied: “Whole team can’t rely on 2 players; there is no more ABD. Batsmen got in and got out. Bad shot selection; so many top order players out “bowled” on good batting surface tells a story.”Rhodes also felt that his side will make a strong comeback in the tournament and said that most of the people believed that the duo’s absence is the reason behind the Proteans dismal show.”Sadly, there are many people saying the same thing; it’s not rocket science! It will come; but for us SA fans, it needs to come sooner rather than later!!,” he added.advertisementIn the clash against Bangladesh on Sunday, South Africa had failed to chase down Bangladesh’s total of 330 on a good batting track. It was Shakib Al Hasan (75 off 84) and Mustafizur Rahman (3/67), who starred for Bangaldesh in their 21-run win.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Du Plessis seeks new plan for South Africa as injuries biteAlso Read | South Africa one good performance away from creating momentum: JP DuminyAlso Read | World Cup 2019: There will be no margin for error against India, feels Jacques Kallislast_img read more