India colts to take on Ireland first

India colts to take on Ireland first

Three-time champions India will open their campaign against Ireland in Group D when the ICC U-19 World Cup gets underway in Bangladesh from January 27 to February 14.

India and New Zealand are favoured to take the top two positions in Group D ahead of Ireland and Nepal.

The biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members — Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.

Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarterfinals and the other two qualifying for the Plate Championships.

India, coached by batting great Rahul Dravid, features high among the top contenders to bag the trophy which it has previously won in 2000, 2008 and 2012.

India arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday with a power-packed batting line-up that includes Sarfaraz Khan and Armaan Jaffer. Sarfaraz joins Ricky Bhui and Avesh Khan for their second appearance in the premier age-group tournament, having also participated in 2014. Another batsman that will be noticed in Bangladesh is Armaan, nephew of former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer.

Dravid, who retired from international cricket in 2012 with more than 10,000 runs in both Test and one-day cricket, gave up his lucrative television commitments last year to take up the challenging job of coaching both the India ‘A’ and under-19 squads.

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