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Asia Cup a big captaincy challenge: Virat

India’s stand-in skipper hopes to take a leap forward as leader

Virat Kohli is set for his third stint as India captain when he leads the team in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Replacing MS Dhoni – who is down with a side strain – at the helm, Virat empathised with Team India’s regular captain, saying the pressure of leading the team in one tournament cannot be compared to what Dhoni endures day in and day out.

"I don't think this is anything compared to what he (Dhoni) has gone through in the past few years," Virat said. "I am captain for just one tournament. It is completely different from regularly captaining the side. When you win, you're praised, when you lose, you're criticised. It is all a part of it.

"I am not in a position right now to experience all that. I have got this one-odd opportunity like I did in the past as well. I am sure it is a very tough position to be in. You have to be ready to take all the criticism and praise that comes your way," he said.

Virat has some experience of leading India, in the tri-series in West Indies and the ODIs in Zimbabwe last year. The Asia Cup, however, will be a bigger challenge for the 25-year-old batsman, given he will be up against strong teams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, along with aspiring teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

"I have only been captain for about eight games till now," Virat said. "It went pretty good, but this is a big tournament. It's a challenge I'm looking forward to. We have got a young group of guys and some exciting players.

"I think that excites me to have a group that I can have a chat with and be on the same page. It's important to have an understanding. It's really exciting for me to improve the record, which is already good. I'm looking forward to the tournament."

When the discussion invariably veered to the big India-Pakistan contest, Virat said that the team was focused on winning the tournament rather than devoting all its energy to one game.

"Obviously, we are here to win the tournament. We haven't just come here to play one game and go back home; that's not our aim.

"Our aim is to win every game that we play. A game against Pakistan is always a hyped game for us, obviously a big pressure match. We take every game the same way. You know, the aim is to win the tournament, not just one game, and make sure the people are happy,” Virat said.

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Report: ICC U-19 CWC, QF – India vs England

India knocked out of U-19 CWC by England

England Under-19 beat defending champions India Under-19 by three wickets to advance to the ICC U-19 CWC semi-final. After restricting the Vijay Zol-led side to 221, they chased down the target with five balls to spare in a thrilling finish at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Chasing 222 runs, they were reduced to 41 for three from being 30 without loss. After Monu Kumar removed opener Harry Finch, Chama Milind and Deepak Hooda followed up with two more wickets. However, Ben Duckett anchored the innings with a 61-run knock to keep his team in the hunt as they eventually chased down the competitive target.

With England U-19 on 117, Aamir Gani claimed Ed Barnard. And Kuldeep Yadav, who has been a key wicket-taker for the Indian colts, sent back Duckett a while later. He claimed two more to keep India U-19 in the game. However, lower-order batsmen Rob Jones and Rob Sayer took England U-19 across the line.

Earlier, after electing to bat first, India U-19 were left reeling on four for 24 thanks to some tight bowling by the English colts. While Ankush Bains was sent back by Jack Winslade, Akhil Herwadkar was dismissed by Matthew Fisher. Sanju Samson, who has been amongst the runs of late, was dismissed for a first-ball duck. While Zol compiled a valuable 48, Hooda scored 68 off 99 balls before being run out. Sarfaraz Khan, however, ensured that his team put up a defendable total on board with an unbeaten 52-run knock before India U-19 played out their quota of overs.