Davis Cup, Norway Vs India: Prajnesh Gunneswaran Faces US Open Finalist Casper Ruud

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, ranked 335 in the world, faces a tough job against world number 2 Casper Ruud, who has been in red hot form.

In the reverse singles, Prajnesh Gunneswaran takes on Viktor Durasovic.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran will open India's Davis Cup World Group I tie campaign against Norway number one and US Open runner-up Casper Ruud while Ramkumar Ramanathan will be up against lower-ranked Viktor Durasovic in the singles matches on the first day in Lillehammer on Friday. (More Tennis News)

The Indian team under non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal has gone by the rankings while choosing the singles players. Yuki Bhambri, who was the country's top singles player for long though he has dropped down in the rankings, will play in the doubles along with Saketh Myneni on Saturday.

Prajnesh, ranked 335 in the world, faces a tough job against world number 2 Ruud who has been in red hot form after finishing second best to Carlos Alcaraz in the US Open.

But India's number one player Ramkumar, ranked 276 in the world, can fancy his chances against Durasovic, ranked 325, in the second singles.

"Our number one Ramkumar will be playing against their number two player. Our number two singles player I have chosen is Prajnesh and he will be playing against their number one player," Rajpal said.

"So, it is Ramkumar vs Jorasevic and Prajnesh against Casper Ruud on first day. Based on that, we will react on the second day in doubles."

This will be the first time that India will be meeting Norway in the Davis Cup. Though Norway have world number 2 Ruud in their side, their other players are ranked lower than the Indians and that would give hope to the visitors.

In this scenario, the doubles match on Saturday could be crucial if India can pull off two wins in singles. In this context, veteran Rohan Bopanna's last-minute withdrawal due to an injury was a severe blow to the Indian team.

In the reverse singles, also on Saturday, Ramkumar will be up against Ruud while Prajnesh faces Durasovic.

Each match will be a best-of-three sets affair. The matches will be played on an indoor hard court at Hakons Hall in Lillehammer.

India had beaten Denmark 4-0 in the Davis Cup World Group I play-offs in New Delhi earlier this year.

Rajpal also paid tribute to Indian tennis legend Naresh Kumar who died on Wednesday.

"Extremely said to hear the news when we are here at the Davis Cup. I played under him when he was the Davis Cup captain. Zeeshan Ali was also there in the team. He was an extremely dynamic person."

The Squads: 

India: Rohit Rajpal (non-playing captain), Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal, Yuki Bhambri, Saketh Myneni, Mukund Sasikumar.

Norway: Anders Haseth (non-playing captain), Casper Ruud, Viktor Durasovic, Lukas Hellum Lilleengen, Herman Hoeyeraal, Simen Sunde Bratholm.