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Mumbai: Jan 7, 2014
Maharashtra batsman Vijay Zol, who led the India under-19 squad to the Asia Cup title, on Tuesday said the team would not rest on its laurels and look to perform well in next month’s Junior World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“The team has been doing well for the last four tournaments. There has been no single hero. Everyone has chipped in with one or the other kind of performance. It has been a team effort. Just before the World Cup, everyone is in good nick, so it is good for the team,” Zol told reporters on the eve of his team’s Ranji Trophy quarter-final against defending champions Mumbai.
“We are hoping to do well in the World Cup (starting February 14) too,” he added.
Zol, who scored a hundred in last Saturday’s final against Pakistan, said it was a good experience to play against good opponents in the Under-19 Asia Cup.
“It was a good experience, playing against a few stronger teams over there — Pakistan, Sri Lanka — who are well-known teams in the under 19 circuit. It was good to play hard cricket there for 10 days and it was good to win the fourth tournament just before entering the World Cup. We are taking the winning momentum with us (to the UAE),” he said.
In the Group A league stage, India had lost to Pakistan by two wickets and Zol said, “It was always on back of our mind that we had to make a comeback. And beating them in the final was icing on the cake.”
The 19-year old rated Pakistan’s bowling attack highly and said he enjoyed playing against their pacers.
“Pakistan’s attack is really good. Their pace attack has always been good. I enjoyed a lot playing against them,” he said.
Zol, who has recovered from a groin niggle sustained during the Sharjah final, said he is excited to play against the defending champions Mumbai for the first time in the five-day Ranji quarter final.
“I am really excited to play against Mumbai for the first time at the Ranji Trophy level. It will be good for me. I am not nervous. I am quite excited about it. I am going to enjoy tomorrow, come what may. It is a great opportunity for me. I would like to enjoy it rather than getting nervous or being under pressure,” he said.
Maharashtra advanced to the elimination phase by finishing on top of Group C that consisted of the championship’s weakest sides and Zol said it was a big achievement for the team.
“The top two run getters are from Maharashtra. It’s good to be part of the Ranji team.”
Zol said he wants to treat the quarter-final like any other game as he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on himself.
“I would like to take it as just another game because these things add a bit of pressure if you keep thinking about them. So, I would like to concentrate on the basics. I would like to give my 100 per cent and let’s see how it goes,” the Jalna-born player said.
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