India confident of levelling series against Pak

Published: Sunday, November 12, 2006, 21:17 [IST]
 

New Delhi, Nov 11 (UNI) Despite trailing 1-2 against Pakistan in the Indo-Pak tennis series, India today exuded confidence that they would come out victorious in the final 'Test' here tomorrow and level the series.

India won the first Test in Islamabad 2-1, lost in Lahore and Chandigarh 0-2 and 1-2 respectively in the four-Test home and away series.

Top Indian player Rohan Bopanna, who did not play the singles in Chandigarh due to fever but came back to play doubles, returns tomorrow to play the second singles against Aqeel Khan after the first singles between top Pakistani player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Karan Rastogi.

Bopanna, though not fully fit, said the hosts would want to go up 2-0 so that the doubles rubber becomes dead.

''I am still not fully fit, but hope both Karan and I win our singles and win by 2-0,'' Bopanna said.

He refused to say whtether he would pair up with Mustafa Ghouse for doubles in case the score is tied 1-1.

Non-playing captain Nandal Bal was also non-committal and said that they would decide the doubles composition only tomorrow in case the scoreline reads 1-1 after the two singles.

Both sides can name the doubles pair within 30 minutes after the end of the second singles.

Karan, on his part, said he was looking forward to tomorrow's match against Aisam who had beaten him in the Lahore leg on grass courts.

Bal said the schedule of the series has been very tight and tomorrow's tie would test the fitness level of the players.

''The players who are fitter physically, mentally and emotionally will win tomorrow,'' he said.

Aisam said he would love to win the series but said India would want to put up a strong fight to level the series.

All the players said the travelling schedule was hectic and the series would have been spread over at least two weeks so that players had time to rest and recuperate.

Bopanna said playing in Pakistan was very enjoyable but rued missing going around and mix up with people there.

Aisam agreed Bopanna, saying, ''The series was fantastic but we could not socialise. We left Chandigarh at 10 am today and we are here straight from the bus. Next time I hope the series is spread over to two weeks so that we can mix up with Indian people.'' He also said that the series should have five matches next time.

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