ANDY Murray has challenged his Great Britain team-mates to think the unthinkable by retaining the Davis Cup. As memorable as it was, there has been a feeling in some parts that last November's victory in Ghent - their first for 79 years - was a freak, never-to-be-repeated event.

But with the World No 2 re-stating his commitment to play, if fit, in a prospective quarter final tie against either Serbia or Kazakhstan immediately after Wimbledon, why shouldn't they keep hold of this trophy? Having said all that, the 28-year-old also knows that first they must take care of Japan in Birmingham this weekend, including Kei Nishikori, who at World No 6 is the highest-ranked player he has ever met in this competition.

"One of the reasons I’m here this year is because I really want to try and do it again, after experiencing it last year," said the younger Murray sibling. "I mean why not? I never thought we would be able to do it but then when we did, it was like why not, why can't we do it again? I thought the ties last year were unbelievable.

"I enjoyed every one of them, in terms of the atmosphere, it was great," he added. "It was tough at times physically and mentally after the times of year that the ties were coming but I think everyone on the team loved that whole experience of winning and I think we would all love to try to do it again.

"But the best way to do that is not thinking that far ahead. We could lose this tie, it’s a really tough match to win. They [Japan] have a really, really good team and we need to just concentrate on this one. With the help of the crowd, everyone in this team I think has always performed really well in Davis Cup, if everyone does that we can get through this one and who knows what will happen?"

Murray, who was joined on the practice court yesterday by West Brom captain Darren Fletcher, will be involved in the first rubber against Taro Daniel, the World No 87, before home favourite Dan Evans takes on Nishikori. The selection of the mercurial Brummie Evans, ranked as low as 772 last May, was confirmed after Kyle Edmund was classed as too much of a risk due to a back problem. For now Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot are down to compete in Saturday's doubles rubber against Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama - although the options remain both for Nishikori to enter the fray and for Andy to partner his brother.

Evans, the 25-year-old, has Challenger level wins against Daniel and a perfect record in his only previous meeting against Nishikori, a straight sets win at the 2013 US Open. "Obviously you heard that Kyle picked up an injury during Wednesday's practice," said Leon Smith, the Davis Cup captain. "It was better this morning but like a lot of these injuries it felt like a bit of a race against time. Therefore it was a risk to him and a risk to the team, not being able to complete matches. But we've now got Dan in the team, who is fully fit, plays well indoors and has good Davis Cup experience. It is obviously a positive that he has wins against them, but those players are different now, as is Dan."

"I'm going to enjoy it," said Evans. "Obviously I'm proud to be playing in front of the Birmingham crowd and hopefully they make a lot of noise and it is a good day of tennis. Hopefully I can trouble him [Nishikori], I just have to try to be aggressive, play my game, and keep the match close."

"I was ready to play against Kyle but it happens," said Nishikori. "I know him. We played one match at the US Open. He played great tennis that match and I was a little bit nervous, tight. I don’t remember much. We’ve both changed a lot. I’ve got better in the last few years."

Daniel, who it was revealed yesterday is a Led Zeppelin fan, said his favourite song was Dazed and Confused. He hopes that will not sum up his experience against the Scottish World No 2. "I don’t think I’ll be too confused," said Daniel. "For sure I’ll be nervous but excited as well. I can expect a certain amount of noise. It’s going to be something I’ve never experienced before. It’s a little scary but mostly exciting."

Great Britain v Japan - Day 1 singles rubbers (from 1pm)

Andy Murray v Taro Daniel

The Scottish World No 2, who has lost just two singles rubbers in his Davis Cup career, gets matters underway against this little-known 23-year-old from Japan

Dan Evans v Kei Nishikori

Brummie home boy Evans hopes to reprise his 2013 US Open victory against the Japanese megastar who is the only Asian man ever to reach a Grand Slam final.