Townsville (Australia), Aug 11: It was heartbreak for India Under-19 in 2010 when they lost to arch rivals Pakistan in a close match at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup quarter-finals. Now, it is time for another edition and India are hoping to bring home the trophy.
Last time, India won the title was in 2008 when Virat Kohli led the side to victory in Kuala Lumpur. In 2010 they finished sixth.
This time, Unmukt Chand-led side will begin their campaign in Townsville against West Indies on Sunday. The match starts at 5.00 AM IST (Live on ESPN STAR Sports).
In the recent past, India have been in good form with Chand leading the way. They were joint winners of the Under-19 Asia Cup after India and Pakistan's final ended in a thrilling tie.
After that they had a good preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore and also were involved in a three-day boot camp in Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary.
The training and pre-tournament analysis of rival teams is over. It is time for action in Australia.
India captain Chand said his side was fully prepared for the event. "The team wears a settled look. We have played three tournaments over the past few months - a quadrangular series in India, another in Australia, and then the Asia Cup in Malaysia. We won the first two tournaments, and were joint winners in the third."
"The boys are used to playing with each other, and confidence levels are very high. We also have an excellent support staff. We are looking forward to the World Cup, and hope to emulate our predecessors of 2000 and 2008.
"We are bound to face challenges, with so many quality teams in the fray. However, what might work in our favour is that we have played in Australia, as recently as April 2012. It should not take us long to acclimatise and adjust to the conditions in Australia," he said in a media release issued by ICC.
West Indies is led by Test player Kraigg Brathwaite. Speaking on the tournament, he said: "Australia will be the favourite because they won the last World Cup and now they are on their home turf. I believe we can win the event. We just need to believe in ourselves, go out there and play as a team and to our full potential. We are motivated and it would be great to win the title for the people of the West Indies," Braithwaite said.
"As a team, we will be looking to show the world our talent and that West Indies cricket has a bright future. Every team will be looking to win the event and our approach will be the same. There is a lot to play for," concluded the Test opener.
India are in Group C with other two teams which can be termed as weak. Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe make up the group.
There are 16 teams in the tournament and top two from each group progress to Super League quarter-finals. India and West Indies are favourites from Group C.
The tournament commenced on August 11, Saturday. The final is slated for August 26.
India: Unmukt Chand (captain), Baba Aparajith, Prashant Chopra, Sandipan Das, Akhil Herwadkar, Rush Kalaria, Vikas Mishra, Akshdeep Nath, Kamal Passi, Smit Patel (wicketkeeper), Ravi Kant Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Harmeet Singh, Hanuma Vihari and Vijay Zol
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Sunil Ambris, Ronsford Beaton, John Campbell, Derone Davis, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Akeal Hosein, Jerome Jones, Keiron Joseph, Steven Katwaroo, Amir Khan, Kyle Mayers and Marquino Mindley
Group C schedule (India matches)
*Sunday 12 Aug - India v West Indies, Tony Ireland Stadium Townsville
*Tuesday 14 June - India v Zimbabwe, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
Thursday 16 Aug - India v PNG, Oval 1, Endeavour
* indicates broadcast of these matches on ESPN STAR Sports. All matches start at 5.00 AM IST