We believed we could win: Chand
Mumbai, August 28: Today, the Under-19 World Cup champions were felicitated at the ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai. The victorious skipper, Unmukt Chand, spoke about the team’s victory and also the journey leading up to it. It took two years of dedication and hard work for the Indian colts to achieve the ultimate dream and win back the coveted trophy from the clutches of the talented Australians in their own backyard.
Even coach, Bharat Arun, appreciated his wards’ efforts and proudly proclaimed, “I think Under-19 is a great platform for them to showcase their talent. They have proved themselves at the highest level [in this age group].”
During a press conference, Unmukt Chand spoke about the overall experience Down Under and even what lies ahead for him and his teammates after winning the ICC U19 World Cup.
When did your preparations for this World Cup begin?
[Since] two years ago, when all of us went to NCA (National Cricket Academy), we’ve wanted to win the Under-19 World Cup. And, we’ve worked very hard for this and are quite happy that we beat Australia in Australia and brought home the World Cup.
What are your future dreams?
Right now, we have won the World Cup, so we are quite happy. Going forward, I’ve been selected for India A, so I hope to perform well at that level.
What about taking the next step?
See, right now we are not thinking of that. We’ve just won the World Cup and we’re really happy and enjoying our success and enjoying each other’s success. So, right now, we’re just cherishing the moment.
Did Sachin Tendulkar give you any tips?
Absolutely. Before leaving [for Australia] we had a 30-minute session with him. And it was quite a helpful session. He gave us several tips before we left; for instance, what we will face there and how to tackle those things. He also told us what dos and don’ts we need to follow at the Under-19 level. So, he was very helpful.
Are you a big-match player, given that you scored a match-winning hundred in the finals?
Obviously, the finals was an important match. I wanted to play in every match, but you click in some, and in some you don’t. On the day of the finals, I was fit. So, my role was to bat till the end and take the team to 226 [the target set by Australia U19]. We’re happy about it.
What are your thoughts on the tournament?
We faltered initially and we got into the groove slightly later in the tournament; then stumbled a bit, but then, we peaked at the right time. The best part was we weren’t playing in India, so we didn’t know about what was happening in India. So, that really kept us on our target and the belief was really strong in the guys. We always felt that we’ll go and lift the trophy. That belief only took us further in the tournament and helped us win the tournament.