Astana: Competing against some top players in the world, a depleted Indian team was routed 0-3 by hosts Kazakhstan in their Fed Cup opener in Astana on Wednesday.
Playing without its lone top player Sania Mirza, India had no answer to the quality players such as world number 32 Yaroslava Shvedova and 73rd ranked Ksenia Pervak, fielded by the hosts in the Asia/Oceania Group I tie.
First to take field was national hard courts runner-up Rishika Sunkara and she failed to win even a single game, going down 0-6 0-6 against Pervak in the first singles. Kyra Shroff managed to win one game each in two sets against Shvedova in the second singles, which she lost 1-6 1-6.
In the doubles rubber, Rutuja Bhosale and Anikta Raina lost 3-6 1-6 to the home combo of Sesil Karatantcheva and Galina Voskoboeva. India, playing in three-team Group A, next face Thailand. The Groun B comprises China, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan.
The winners of each pool will Play-off against each other to determine which one nation will advance to the World Group II Play-offs in April 2013. The nation in third position in Pool A will Play-off against the nation in fourth position in Pool B to determine which one nation will be relegated to Asia/Oceania Zone Group II in 2014.