Bangalore: Skipper Vijay Zol and coach Bharat Arun are confident that defending champions India will retain their title in the forthcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup in the UAE commencing February 14.
Revising the scene of their recent Asia Cup triumph, Zol said the team, most of whose members have been together for the past year, has bonded well especially after a two-week “boot camp” where the players were put through various team building exercises.
Going up against Pakistan, champions in 2004 and 2006, in their opening Group ‘A’ fixture on February 15, Zol, speaking at a pre-departure Media conference here yesterday, said the pressure would be on his team, but the players have been prepared well to handle it. The 15-member team with support staff is scheduled to depart for the UAE today.
India are clubbed with Pakistan, Scotland and Papua-New Guinea in Group A.
“For us, it (match against Pakistan) will be just another game. Our focus would be on the process and our own team rather than the opponent,” said Zol, the only member of the team that won the Cup in Australia two years ago.
Arun stressed on the preparations, especially the camp where the players were drilled about their individual roles and responsibilities besides being put through several team building initiatives that will also help them to cope with the pressure. “Definitely there is pressure, but the challenge is to overcome it. At the boot camp, we stressed on giving clarity to individual roles and put a process in place.