Assam v Delhi, Vijay Hazare Trophy 2012-13, final March 3, 2013

Chand keeps his hundred habit

Since his return from a victorious Under-19 World Cup campaign in Australia, Unmukt Chand has been busy. He toured New Zealand with India A, toured South Africa with Delhi Daredevils, played a tour game against an England XI, played the BCCI's Corporate Trophy for ONGC, and represented Delhi in the domestic season. He's had to deal with a lot more attention and has appeared in his first TV commercial. Amid all this, Chand hasn't lost the knack of scoring a hundred in a tournament final.

After making hundreds in several Under-19 tournament finals, a run that culminated in a World Cup-winning century against Australia in Townsville, Chand did it again, for Delhi in the Vijay Hazare final in Visakhapatman. His 116 off 133 balls led Delhi to 290 for 9, 75 runs too many for Assam.

All the knockout matches of the tournament were played in two venues in Visakhapatnam and most of the totals were low. In the quarter-finals and the semis, teams had passed 200 only in two innings. But Chand said the pitch for the final was better than previous ones.

"We would have definitely elected to bowl if we had won the toss," Chand said. "But the conditions were slightly different, it was not a sort of a weird track, not a treacherous track you can say, like we had in the previous games. The ball was coming a bit slow but I think it was a good batting wicket …"

The century was Chand's first in List A cricket since his debut in 2010, coming in his 23rd innings and it lifted his average to 32.60. "I hope to continue scoring hundreds and more importantly winning matches for my team," he said. "I haven't scored hundreds but I have been doing this [scoring runs] in the league matches as well. I realise I have the ability and just need to play my own game."

Chand's Vijay Hazare hundred came after a poor Ranji Trophy season. Much was expected of him following his Under-19 success but he averaged 37, making 445 runs with one century in eight matches. He was Delhi's third highest run-scorer but eighth on the list of their top averages. Having placed a premium on the Ranji Trophy, calling it a "cherished" tournament, Chand said it had been a learning experience.

"All I can say is, I would have definitely wanted to score more runs in the Ranji. Though it happens you know, things don't always go according to plan," he said. "I learned a lot in this Ranji season. Failure teaches you a lot. Really happy that I was able to face such rough things as well, when I was not able to score. I hope to learn from the mistakes I made, become a better player."

Chand said he had learned to be more patient through the Ranji season and the one-day matches had taught him new aspects of temperament that needed looking after. His next challenge is the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India's domestic T20 tournament. And after that it's the IPL, when the world will be watching.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sriram on March 6, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Where is the next India A tour to test Unmukt, Jiwanjot, Ishwar, Dhawal, Rayudu, Jalaj, Parvez, Shami, Pankaj, Dhawan and others especially on hard bouncy conditions of SA, Eng, Aus. The last India A tour to Eng and Aus were when Pujara was still an apprentice!!!!

  • jayaesh on March 5, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Unmukt Chand's reward for scoring a match winning century in the finals is that he does not find a spot in north zone team for Deodhar trophy. It happens only in north zone selection committe :P

  • s on March 4, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    This fella needs to be in the ODI side! Not the Test side, mind... He doesn't seem to be that quality yet. But definitely the ODI and T20 sides.

  • uncle bob on March 4, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Chand should be selected for India to spend some time with seniors. That will be a good learning curve for him and then he should get a few games to test the water at the senior level. This guy has a solid temperament and is big match player.

  • Chikku on March 4, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    He has the ability but needs more polishing and after couple of A team tours and Renji seasons he will be ready for it, please give him his time and space and dont rush, look for other players who has proved themselves in domestic format.

  • anand on March 4, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    when the indian openers are not scoring..murali vijay in test today shown that he has ability to stay on wicket and in ipl he had already shown that he can clear the fence overall he could be a great test player..great odi player...and a great t20 batsman problem for one opener is almost solved and for the other opener..we can consider akshat reddy in tests and unmukt chand for odis because he likes bowls coming on his bat and in aus..he had performed well in australia so he must be considered an given chances as other opener for odis..

  • Sameer on March 3, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    At least earlier people used to wait for a couple of test or ODIs before hyping someone up. Nowadays, all you need to be is a young promising player. Hope this bit of news has nothing to do with the new Pepsi commercial. While Chand is promising and young, he did have a poor domestic season and really seemed to struggle against quality pace in the Champions league. A long way to go, I must say.

  • Rajan on March 3, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Keep Up The Good Work Chand And Work Hard Grab Sehwags Spot In The Test Team