Alistair Hunt braced for tough test in India as New Zealand Davis Cup team confirmed
The New Zealand team to play India in the opening round of the Asia/Oceania Group 1 Davis Cup has been confirmed.
Rubin Statham, Finn Tearney, Michael Venus and Artem Sitak will contest the tie which takes place the week after the Australian Open in Pune on February 3-5.
Statham, ranked No 459 in the world in singles, is set to play his 27th tie and extend his record as the most capped New Zealand Davis Cup player of all time.
Venus is No 32 in the world in doubles after a top year on the ATP tour where he won four doubles titles and was a finalist on five other occasions.
Tearney has a singles ranking of 489 and has beaten top 150-ranked players in 2016.
Sitak, meanwhile, is coming off his twin titles at the NZ Tennis Championships in singles and doubles, earning a wildcard for the ASB Classic. He is ranked No 62 in the world in doubles.
Alistair Hunt is the non-playing captain and admitted they face a tough challenge in Indian conditions.
"We currently have several very good players, particularly in doubles and there's only 12 spots between Marcus and Artem on the ATP rankings," Hunt said.
"Artem played well to take the NZ champs. We need everyone available to play singles in India as anything can happen.
"I have firm belief that we can win this tie. It will take a big effort but we have the players to win."
The last time the two nations played was in 2015 in the Asia/Oceania final in Christchurch where India won 3-2. India leads the overall head-to-head record 5-3.
If the Kiwis win they will face either Uzbekistan away or Korea at home in the next round.