Even as India thrashed Uzbekistan by winning the Davis Cup 4-1 to advance to the World Group Play-offs in Bengaluru, India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi on Sunday opened up about his rift with Leander Paes which widened after the latter was dropped in the final four-man team for the tournament.
Bhupathi had dropped Paes and instead picked Rohan Bopanna in his team for India’s tie against Uzbekistan.
“If I had a personal agenda against Leander then he wouldn’t have been on the squad, but he was and unfortunately he was able to get to Bangalore on Tuesday night which is too late for him practice with anybody to be selected,” Bhupathi said.
Bhupathi, citing his conversation with Paes through text messages, said that he had always kept his estranged partner on the loop over the team probables for the tie up.
“I spoke to him in February and spoke to him in March we discussed having six members on the squad and Leander was very receptive to that and I have it on record so I have nothing to be ashamed of, as I said I am very proud that the boys won,” he said.
Paes, who was left out of the Davis Cup for the first time in 27 years, had lashed out at Bhupati and accused him of flouting section criteria.