The New Zealand Davis Cup team has stuck with its highest ranked singles players for the opening matches of the Asia/Oceania Group 1 round one Davis Cup clash against India at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, 3-5 February.
New Zealand captain Alistair Hunt confirmed Finn Tearney and Rubin Statham will play the opening day singles with Michael Venus and Artem Sitak listed in the doubles for day two. All players can be changed up to an hour before the scheduled start of play each day. The reverse singles will be held on Sunday.
On day one Tearney ranked 414 will play the opening match against Yuki Bhambri 368 followed by Statham at 417 facing Ramkumar Ramanathan ranked 276 in the world.
"Its no surprise who they selected and our guys are playing well and practicing well. Im happy with our selections and our players are ready to take on the challenge ahead," said Hunt.
Hunt describes the courts as medium paced, but with a high bounce and potentially difficult while he expects a big hometown support, especially during the doubles to cheer on Leander Paes in the doubles on Saturday with Vishnu Vardham.
"The courts have a high bounce, plus were at elevation in the city so its going to be a tough physical tie and theres going to be a lot of shots hit off-balance with some quick points as well. Were expecting a big crowd with the seating full at around 2,000 people, they should all be there cheering on Leander during the doubles, but were ready for it."
The first singles match is set to start at 3pm Pune time (11pm NZ time on Friday night) followed by the second singles match.
The last time the two nations played was in 2015 in the Asia/Oceania final in Christchurch where India won 3-2. It was one of the rare times that India had lost a doubles match in Davis Cup.
The overall record between the sides is five wins to India and three to New Zealand.
If New Zealand wins then they would face either Uzbekistan away or Korea at home.