Indian opener Mayank Agarwal smashed a brilliant 130 along with skipper Unmukt Chand, who complemented his teammate with a useful 90, as India A thrashed South Africa A by eight wickets in their second tri-series match. Chasing 245 for a win, India A reached their target with more than 12 overs to spare, courtesy a 219-run opening stand between Agarwal and Chand at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. India A are now in contention for a place in the final with a match to go. After a disappointing opener which saw the hosts suffer a 119 run loss to Australia A, it was a treat to watch the Indian team hit back and even managing to earn a bonus point for their efforts.
The skipper of the team is the one to look out for. Unmukt Chand, proved his mettle in both the matches by far by scoring a 52 and 90 respectively. Shooting to prominence by leading India to their first U-19 Cricket World Cup victory outside Asia in 2012. With this achievement Chand become the shining star of Indian Cricket overnight.
The latest addition to the line of Delhi batsmen, Chand is often compare to his predecessor Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni for his calm, composed stature on field. Having had an illustrious career at the junior level Umukt Chand dreams of breaking it into the senior team “Each cricketer begins his journey with a lighter shade of blue and gradually reaches his dream. I have represented my nation as an Under 19 player, an U-23 player and in the ‘A’ tours. But what I wore then were the lighter shades of blue, even wearing the dark blue of Delhi Daredevils and was a lighter shade for me. The blue Indian jersey is the perfect shade of blue to me and the dream is to wear it as soon as possible and then continue to embrace it..”
Sky is the limit for this young man but the pressing concern has been the inconsistency in his performance over the years since his glorious Townsville days. Known to be a “Big match” player Chand has failed to deliver since his transfer to senior cricket as well as in the Indian Premier League where he has given a score of indifferent performances.With India playing a lot of cricket in the next two years, performing well in the tri-series will be key in consolidating a position in the senior team and finally taking the big step.
So, here’s wishing Unmukt Chand a very prosperous forthcoming cricket career. Hope he proves his mettle in the upcoming matches for India A Team and success kisses his feet in the long run.