Unmukt Chand had gone through the anxious time of leading India in the final of ICC Under-19 World Cup back in 2012 and he exactly knows what it takes to remain compose on a big day. Chand had scored a glorious 111 not out in the final of U-19 World Cup against Australia to help India lift the trophy.
As Prithvi Shaw led U-19 team are gearing up for their all-important final clash against the same opponent, Chand has advised the current crop of players to play freely. The Youth World Cup winning skipper also labelled the India U-19 boys as favorites for the summit encounter against Jason Sangha’s Australia.
"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 tomorrow are favourites. They should just play freely forgetting everything else. Win or lose, it will only be significant but just a part of their bigger journey," Unmukt quoted according to PTI ahead of the big final on Saturday.
The 24-year-old urged Prithvi Shaw and company to treat success and failure as two imposters. He feels that everyone can’t live the journey of Virat Kohli.
"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)," Unmukt added.
The Delhi lad also put it straight saying that from the current crop a few of them will take time to blossom in future and fans shouldn’t load them with unfair expectations.
"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 colours," Chand remarked.
"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," he concluded.
India U19 Squad for World Cup:
Prithvi Shaw(c), Shubman Gill, Manjot Kalra, Himanshu Rana, Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Harvik Desai, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel, Anukul Sudhakar Roy, Shiva Singh, Aryan Juyal, Arshdeep Singh, Pankaj Yadav