|Home -> News -> Report|
|Confident India leaves for U-19 World Cup|
Monday, February 9 2004 14:57 Hrs (IST)
The 14-member Indian squad, led by talented Hyderabad all-rounder Ambati Rayudu, left on board a Bangladesh Biman flight from the NSC Bose International Airport on Monday morning.
Two-time champions India would play a couple of warm-up matches before launching their campaign against minnows Scotland in the World Cup opener at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on February 16.
Team coach Robin Singh, satisfied with the performance of his wards in the recent Asia Cup in Lahore and the One-dayers against Australia back home, expressed confidence in the team's ability to win the Cup for the third time.
"Hopefully we will get through to the final. It has been a good run for them so far and I am confident that the boys will fare pretty well in Bangladesh," Singh told reporters before embarking on the Dhaka flight at the airport.
India, who have recently won the Under-19 Asia Cup and registered comprehensive victories in all three One-day matches against the Aussies, were pitted against hostsBangladesh, New Zealand and Scotland in group C.
The Australia under-19 team, the winners of the 2002 Cup, also left the city on Monday for the 16-team tournament along with the Indians.
Aussie coach Bennett King, though a bit disappointed at the performance of his charges on Indian soil, hoped for improved display by the contingent in the Cup.
"Its a challenge for me and my players to scale up their game. They have to learn the lessons quickly so as to do well on the turning tracks (in Bangladesh)," he said.
Bennett, who termed the Indians as the favourites, felt the teams from the sub-continent - also including Sri Lanka and Pakistan - could draw some advantage from the similar climatic and pitch conditions.
Robin, who had only few areas of concern about the team, agreed to the view as did junior selection committee chairman Pravin Amre.
"The Indian boys will be going as one of the favourites. We got time to enable the team reach their peak form. The boys did well in Pakistan and outplayed Aussies, the champions in the junior cricket. So we hope this side to do well in the Cup," Amre, who was here to watch the matches between India and Australian youngsters, said.
He, however, cautioned that "Australia is one team who can pick up their game anytime".
India, who were ousted from the 2002 World Cup by New Zealand in the last four stage, would play their second league match against the Kiwis on February 18 before taking on the hosts in the third and final league tie on February 20.
The 16 teams taking part in the tournament were divided in four groups and the top two sides from each group would play the Super League.
Top two teams from each of the two Super League groups would qualify for the Super League semi-finals. The Super League final would be played on March 5.
Dhawan, Rayadu shine as India U-19 blank Aus