Unmukt Chand in his U-19 days was touted as the next big batting star in Indian cricket. The stylish-right handed batsman from Delhi was often compared to Virat Kohli. Both Chand and Kohli were winning captains of the U-19 world cups. After leading India to victory in the 2012 U-19 world cup, it looked like a matter of time before he would play for India. He had all the credentials to become the next big thing in Indian cricket.
But unfortunately, Chand wasn’t able to follow the same path created by Kohli. The opening batsman believes that timing plays a huge role in anybody’s selection. When Chand was knocking at the door of selection the Indian team had Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir who were performing consistently.
Unmukt Chand opens up on his slump in form
When both Sehwag and Gambhir weren’t at their peak Chand was out of form that meant he was never selected. The batsman missed his chances and Chand recognizes that. He recently spoke in detail about his cricket journey so far and why he isn’t still able to play for India.
“Of course, for any Under-19 player, the World Cup is the most important thing. The hard work of so many years from Junior cricket to Under-16 and so on, it’s like a summit for any junior cricketer to reach there and definitely. Just like winning the World Cup is a dream, similarly, lifting the Under-19 World Cup is also one”.
“Four years ago, I had seen Virat bhaiya leading the side and winning the cup, so since it was fresh in the memory its impact was big. I knew stories could be different. It’s not like you always automatically play for India but for me, it was more important to win the Under-19 World Cup”, Chand told Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel.
I could have learnt: Chand
However, Chand continues to learn from his mistakes and still has ambitions of representing India in International cricket. At 26, Chand still has a lot of cricket left in him and is looking to make most of the opportunities that come his way.
He added, “It’s not like I didn’t get opportunities after the win. I played for India A and I was captaining the team till 2016 as well. I was getting runs. A few times I was told ‘just be ready, we’ll be picking you’. But that’s ok. To say that had I played, I would have done this and that isn’t logical. The most important is what happened and what I could have learnt”.
“At times it’s like you’re aware that the Indian cricket team is about combinations. I remember very clearly that when things were going well with me, Viru bhaiya and Gautam bhaiya used to open for India. Then there was a time when there was a dearth of good openers, and during that period, my form was under a slump. Those things are also important”.
“I take it in my stride. I have had many good experiences and even though that couldn’t materialise into getting an India cap, it’s a journey. I’ll be able to sum it better the day I finish with my cricket”, Unmukt Chand concluded.