Under-19s launch Cup bid

New Zealand Under-19 coach Dipak Patel is taking a step-by-step approach to the World Cup campaign.

The side warmed up with two wins over Canterbury XIs in Christchurch and face two more warm-up matches in Sri Lanka.

The squad fly out to Sri Lanka this week, led by former BLACKCAP Patel and Academy head coach Dayle Hadlee as tour manager.

Patel said: “We’re sort of going into the unknown with the squad and who we face there.

“Our expectations are only to play to our strengths and play with what we’ve got available.

“We’ve just got to take every game as it comes, we’re not looking too far ahead.

“Our plan is just to look to qualify for the Super League stage – we’ll look at it then and reassess.”

Patel is placing his faith in the solidity and ability of the touring party as a whole rather than any one individual.

The ex-Auckland bowler preferred to concentrate on his current side than any comparisons to their predecessors; or, indeed, their opposition in the forthcoming competition.

“It’s hard to say without having been involved in previous squads,” he said.

“We’ve a talented squad, with cover in every position and we’ve got depth, without having any superstars, and that’s healthy.”

The Under-19s open their campaign, and the tournament, against Bangladesh in Colombo on February 5.

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