ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012 August 28, 2012

Bigger challenges ahead - Chand

ESPNcricinfo staff

Unmukt Chand, captain of the Under-19 World Cup winning India team, said that he is not thinking too far ahead and is fully focused on performing positively during India A's tour to New Zealand in September, for which he had been selected before the World Cup. "I take one tournament at a time. I want to play for India but don't want to think about it now. I want to do well for India A," Chand told PTI.

Chand, who led India's win in the final with a century, thereby becoming India's highest run-getter in the tournament, was speaking during a function organised by the BCCI to felicitate the Under-19 squad. He said that the team had prepared itself mentally to overcome the challenges in the tournament.

India lost the first match against West Indies, but won all their matches thereafter, including a narrow one-wicket win over Pakistan in the quarter-final. However, the batsmen failed to dominate and the team was repeatedly bailed out by the bowlers.

"All the batsmen go out to score runs but most of the time it does not happen," Chand said. "We lost the first match against West Indies, but even from that we took the positives like our bowling and fielding. That we carried in further matches.

"The best part was, we didn't know what was happening in India, [which] really kept us on target. The belief was very strong among the guys and we always felt we will go and lift the trophy. [It] only took us further and win the tournament."

He said his team's half-hour session with Sachin Tendulkar ahead of the event helped.

"We had a half an hour session with him before leaving. The session was quite helpful. He told what we would face there and how we need to tackle it. He helped us a lot and told us the do's and don'ts."

Though happy to be able to overcome a tough test as a team, he said he was aware that they would have to be more mature to deal with future challenges.

"Under-19 is a good platform and the boys have showcased their talent and proved that they are good enough. Our boys are extremely talented and can match anybody but they need to be more matured as a player. It would be a bigger challenge to climb up the ladder now."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on August 30, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    A stinit for Chand with INDIA-A in NZ will be good for this youngster. Indian selectors should blood him into the senior side at the right time. just looking at his profile one can see that he has already done some time on the domestic scene with Delhi (a 150 and a 90 odd) If anyone is going to enter the senior side sooner than later it is Chand. He might do what Sachin did. His manager/coach needs to ensure that he stays grounded. He definitely is a gem for India.

  • raj on August 29, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Where are our future 'pace' bowlers - looks like more boring medium pace swing and seam stuff, mixed with spin relying on favourable pitches! Indian cricket needs to adopt a bit of the macho culture and do away with the sissy stuff! Lets find, encourage and develop a Shaiob Akhtar in India!

  • Ashok on August 29, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    You can have all the talent in the world but unless it is converted into 50's & 100's on a consistent basis, you cannot advance your career. Talent must mean that the batsman's batting technique is sound in defence & stroke making. This coupled with concentration, patience & discipline will carry a batsman into a "Star". C.Pujara scored triple century as early as 14 years age. He has all the qualities to be a "star" but only at the age of 25 he has been included in the Indian Test Squad. So in India one also needs to have connections, it appears!There are a host of other batsmen like Raina, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Tiwary, Rahane who arguably, made it to test squad ahead of Pujara. Of these only the first 3 got regular chance in XI & only Kohli succeeded. So Chand is absolutely right in saying that it is tough road ahead to play for India in the Tests. I feel he needs to focus on developing concentration & disciplined defence to advance. He is definitely a potential "star" in my books.

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    chand is a better furure of india

  • Sivaramakrishnan on August 29, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    Agreed Unmukt Chand has enormous talent. But the attention he seems to get is typically over the top Indian reaction and there is every chance it might work against him. It is also overshadowing the performances of other players be it Aparajith, Smith patel, Harmeet singh and Sandeep sharma. All the 5 playes have potential to play in the big league provided they are grommed well and kept out of constant attention.

  • Aditya on August 29, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    He showed how to handle the pressure in such biggest tournaments. I wish him best of luck for his next assignment India 'A' tour of New Zealand.....

  • Knowledge on August 29, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    DLF is a very smart sponser. DLF knows this coming IPL-6 popularity will go down because of refusal of Sri-lankan players with english players into it. IPL should under there is a diff between PRIDE and PROUD.

  • Ahsanul on August 29, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Chand is a very versatile batsman. He is equally good against pace and spin. He has patience and the ability to perform under pressure which is a very rare quality.India can use him anywhere in the batting order.India are on the verge of being invincible..............

  • avinash on August 29, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @woodhaven24,i agree chand dint get runs in league games,but he captained well and also in finals he got runs at crucial stage when it mattered,also he played with lot of maturity while chasing at this young age,this shows his character and class,so he deserves praise,the 3 persons whom u mentioned might have talent,but still they must improve,,,plz dont insult such a talented young guy,encourage him...

  • ranjith on August 29, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    @woodhaven24 - Chand played in all the tournament scoring centuries in semis and finals. Already he has got three centuries against Australians.He is really a big match player. He has got good record in his small first class carrier also.

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