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Skipper Shaw, Dravid hope to bring the Cup home

Mumbai : Three-time champions India are set to leave for the U-19 World Cup, and coach Rahul Dravid said the team would face a “unique challenge” in New Zealand. “The conditions would provide a unique challenge in that no one in the team has played in New Zealand before,” Dravid said at the pre-departure press conference of the team. The squad will leave for New Zealand tomorrow morning. “The key would be in adapting to the conditions well. We have tried to replicate the conditions in the Bangalore camp to the extent possible but it’s not possible to do it completely,” Dravid added. India, who finished runners-up in the previous edition, have been placed alongside Zimbabwe and East Asia Pacific qualifier Papua New Guinea. The World Cup will start on January 13. The squad has a few players, such as captain Prithvi Shaw, Punjab’s Shubhman Gill, Haryana’s Himanshu Rana and Ishan Porel, who have played first-class cricket. “It’s always good to have players with some first-class cricket experience. This team too has a few,” Dravid said. “The team is similar to the one we had the last time, with only one major difference — in the previous team there were more people with experience of having played in the U-19 World Cup,” he added.

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