India Under-19 captain Vijay Zol on Friday said his team was not under pressure against Pakistan in the World Cup opener as they had beaten the arch-rivals twice in the recently-concluded U-19 ACC Asia Cup.
“Match against Pakistan is a different ball game, but we are in a good position. We have beaten them twice. The league match in Asia Cup was exciting and was anybody’s game, but we beat them convincingly in the final,” Zol told reporters here on the eve of their tour to Abu Dhabi to play U-19 World Cup. India, the three-time champions (2000, 2008 and 2012), have been clubbed with Pakistan, Scotland and Papua New Guinea in Group A.
They will open their campaign against Pakistan on February 15 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Talking about adaptability, Zol said the team had never played in Abu Dhabi but was confident of adjusting to the playing conditions. “We have played in Sharjah and Dubai, but not in Abu Dhabi. We need to adjust a bit in UAE and we are confident of doing it. It is a batting friendly pitch,” he said. Zol insisted that his team has been successfully getting acclimatised to the conditions it was evident from their victories on bouncier tracks in Australia. “We adjusted well on Australian wickets, which had better bounce. We did well winning all the matches,” he said.
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The 15-member squad will be leaving for Abu Dhabi on Saturday in their quest to defend the U-19 World Cup title under Zol’s captaincy, who recently led India to junior Asia Cup victory.
The ICC U-19 World Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates from February 14 to March 1. Zol said his team was not unduly worried about the outcome of the game, but wanted to go out there and play hard. Talking about the camp, which the 15-member World Cup squad underwent at the Chinnaswamy stadium, Zol said, “The camp will help us to play as one unit and players will understand their roles better. This will help us bring down pressure, if we feel any during the tournament,” he said. Coach Bharat Arun said, ““There is always scope for improvement and players have to learn from their past mistakes and not repeat them. The camp helped them in understanding that,” he said.