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India play Papua New Guinea in opener

Last updated on: February 16, 2008 20:28 IST

India will kick off their Under-19 cricket World Cup campaign against East Asia-Pacific qualifier Papua New Guinea in a Group B clash at Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

The team, fresh from their successful tour of South Africa, are among the favourites to win the title, which they had last won in 2000.

The batsmen were in excellent form in South Africa and India would bank on captain Virat Kohli, Saurav Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Abhinav Mukund and Pradeep Sangwan to post healthy totals on the board.

Kohli is confident that his team would live up to the expectations.

"I don't feel the pressure too much from back home. For me it is a matter of pride to serve my country. Hopes are high and the boys have the talent. I think we can do it," Kohli said.

The 16 participating teams have been divided into four groups with the top two progressing to the Super League quarter-finals while the two bottom-placed teams from each group qualifying for the Plate Championship quarter-finals.

A total of 44 matches, including 24 in the first round, seven in the Super League and 13 in play-offs will be played at seven venues in the tournament, stretching up to two weeks.

In other matches on the opening day, defending champions Pakistan will play hosts Malaysia in Group A, Australia are pitted against Namibia in their Group C match and in Group D England take on Ireland.

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