The hosts are heavily fancied to win this weekend’s quarter-final on the clay-court but Murray tipped Kyle Edmund to step up as the team’s talisman once more.
He said: “Of course, we hope we can create a big upset but we have to play really, really well to give ourselves a chance in the tie.”
Edmund and Dan Evans had been scheduled to take on Lucas Pouille and Gilles Simon, Nos 17 and 30 in the world respectively, before France captain Yannick Noah made the surprise decision on Wednesday to call up Jeremy Chardy, despite the player being ranked below the British duo.
Chardy may boast a 100 per cent record in Davis Cup singles but the addition of the world No68 has given the visitors more of a chance.
Despite that, Murray warned: “We’re still big underdogs. We don’t have Andy in our team and their No1 guy is ranked a fair bit higher than our guys. I’d say in the doubles it’s 50-50.
“People might point to the fact they’re missing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who’s on parent duty after becoming a dad, Richard Gasquet, who’s recovering from appendicitis, and Gael Monfils, who’s a bit unreliable with his fitness, but they have still got Pouille. We will have to play very, very well.”
Edmund, the world No47, has been the lynchpin without Murray Jr in the past, winning against Serbia last year and being the man to see Britain through against Canada in February, when opponent Denis Shapovalov was defaulted for hitting a ball into the umpire’s eye when already two sets down.
Evans is Britain’s leading player in Murray’s absence, at No44 in the rankings.
And Murray Sr added: “Kyle likes clay and has had some great challenger wins on clay in particular. For Dan, it’s probably a harder surface for his style of play but both guys are very confident and playing well.”
Andy Murray, meanwhile, has had a turbulent start to the season. He bowed out early at the Australian Open after which he struggled with shingles before injuring his elbow and then being struck down with ’flu.
The nature of the elbow tear is such that he has only just returned to practice and will watch as his team-mates bid for a second successive victory in his absence, having overcome Canada in the previous round.
“Obviously, it’s a huge loss,” said his brother. “He’s the No1 player in the world and very much the talisman of our team. In addition, he’s got an amazing record against all the French players. It’s a huge loss for us and very unfortunate.
“I know he’ll be gutted not to compete as he loves being part of Britain’s Davis Cup team.
“However, that push to be world No1 at the end of last year was obviously going to be punishing and he needs a bit of a rest and to calm down right now. He’s put his body through a hell of a lot.”
Tennis for Kids is offering a six week course, led by one of 1,000 coaches recruited, and 20,000 free rackets to children across the whole of Britain.
To join the initiative, parents can sign up their children online at lta.org.uk/tennisforkids