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Unmukt Chand’s Crucial Advice For India’s U-19 Team
By CricShots - Feb 3, 2018 6:17 am
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Indian batsman Unmukt Chand is well aware of the risks and opportunities of being a successful young cricketer and Under-19 World Cup winning skipper Unmukt Chand has a message for Prithvi Shaw and his men — “the real journey for all the boys will begin after tomorrow’s final.”

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The Indian team, under the captaincy of Prithvi, is currently fighting it out against Australia in the U-19 World Cup summit clash. In 2012, Unmukt led India to World Cup triumph with a century in the final. He became the toast of the nation, led India A and his career divided threadbare with none other than Ian Chappell wanting him to be fast-tracked into the senior team.

Chand remembers all that and can relate to what a Prithvi, a Shubman Gill or a Kamlesh Nagarkoti may be going through right now. He said, “After tomorrow, they will enter the man’s world. A beautiful phase of their life will end and a new journey with full of challenges await them. Prithvi’s team are favorites. They should just play freely forgetting everything else. Win or loss, it will only be significant but just a part of their bigger journey.”

Having experienced both sides of being a successful U-19 captain, Unmukt asked the current batch to treat success and failure as two imposters. He said, “The boys need to be practical. I know what happens after every U-19 World Cup. But every U-19 cricketer’s story is not Virat Kohli’s (There is a story of Shikhar Dhawan who made Test debut nine years after U19 WC) and there is a story of Unmukt Chand (trying to work his way back to national reckoning).”

Also read: Shaw confident of winning ICC U-19 World Cup

Like a protective elder brother, Unmukt wants these players to be shielded from unfair expectations. He said, “Obviously they will have their own set of expectations and they would want to play for India. But let’s get one thing straight. Among them a few may quickly be drafted in the senior team, a few will take time to blossom and some for all practical reasons might never wear senior national colors.”

Six years back, he had written a book on U19 team’s victory, did a famous television advertisement for a soft drink major with none other than MS Dhoni and Kohli. Talking about the same, Chand said, “That is life and that’s where one needs to be realistic. It shouldn’t be like after U-19 people should tell them that now you are just one or two performances away from a national team.”

Talking about some advice for Shaw, Chand said, “I would exactly do what I did back then. I believe it was planned that my journey will be like that. I am extremely proud of my journey. Don’t get distracted by external pressures. Do exactly what has worked for you. And enjoy each other’s company as tomorrow is a special day.”