Soon after Virat Kohli led India to an ICC U-19 triumph in 2008 in Malaysia, Unmukt Chand followed it up with another trophy four years later in Australia in 2012.
Unmukt, who was touted as the next big thing after the triumph, has been waiting for his India call since then.
One of the rare U-19 World Cup winning captains to not get India cap recently said that he has taken his snub from the Indian side in his stride.
In a special chat with former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra, the 26 year old opened up on his unfulfilled dream of playing for India.
Journey different from Virat Kohli’s
Speaking to Aakash Chopra on his Youtube channel #Aakashvaani, Chand, the man of the match of the U-19 World Cup finals for his magnificent 111, said that he knew that both his and Virat’s journey in their quest to make it to the senior team could not be the same.
“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 said to Aakash Chopra.
Wining ICC U-19 World Cup was important
The player, who last year moved to Uttarkhand from Delhi for the Ranji Trophy, said lifting U-19 World Cup is a dream for any U-19 player and it’s the most important thing during those days.
“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,” Unmukt Chand said.
Hope to sum it up better
Unmukt Chand ruled out that he didn’t get opportunities. He said he did got opportunities to play for India A, which he captained till 2016, and was also in the reckoning.
“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,” Chand said.
Unmukt, who averages around 41 in list A, hoped that he will be able to sum up his career better, the day he decides to retire from the game.
“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,” signed-off Unmukt Chand.