Zeeshan Ali, coach of the Indian Davis Cup team, will act as the non-playing captain of the team in the historic playoff against Pakistan after Rohit Rajpal gave up the role citing a medical emergency in his family.
On Tuesday, the All India Tennis Association took X (formerly Twitter) to announce the change in captaincy.
"Our non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal couldn't travel with the team due to some personal reasons. I am happy to inform you that today we have appointed Zeeshan Ali, a very senior player, as the captain of the side," AITA secretary Anil Dhupar told PTI.
The Indian Davis Cup team has reached Pakistan for the first time in 60 years with the last trip dating back to 1964 when India won 4-0 convincingly. The 10-member contingent, including five players, support staff, and coaches, arrived in Islamabad on Monday for the World Group 1 playoff tie, to be held between February 3-4 at the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex.
In 2019, India was scheduled to travel to Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie but AITA managed to shift the contest to a neutral venue, Kazakhstan, citing diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Ramkumar Ramanathan will spearhead India's challenge in the absence of Sumit Nagal and Sasikumar Mukund with Yuki Bhambri available for singles matches if a situation arises.
The India team also consists of N Sriram Balaji, Niki Poonacha, and Saketh Myneni with Digvijay Pratap Singh, who made his debut against Morocco in India's last Davis Cup assignment in Lucknow in September, being the reserve player in the squad.
Pakistan's contingent's challenge will be headlined by two 43-year-olds, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi ranked 127th in the world doubles rankings and Aqeel Khan.