Unmukt Chand has had pretty rough domestic seasons for the last 2-3 years. He was dropped from the Delhi Ranji Team after making just 148 runs in six innings. He was then overlooked for the Delhi team’s league stage matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and to make things worse, went unsold in IPL 2018 auction.
However, 24 year old Unmukt Chand bounced back in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, including a brilliant century against Uttar Pradesh, which he made after suffering a broken jaw during practice before the match. “I was experiencing pain in my jaw, but as long as my hands and feet are fine, I was ready to play,” he said in an interview to Indian Express. The innings showed that Unmukt’s spirit was still unbroken, despite the blows from IPL and Ranji snubs.
With 319 runs in six matches, Unmukt Chand is still hopeful of setting things right and he said, “Thankfully, I’ve managed to get some runs under my belt now. I think the two match-winning knocks — during the final of the Syed Mushtaq Trophy and the century I had scored with a broken jaw against Uttar Pradesh were fulfiling for me.”
Delhi coach KP Bhaskar had clarified that Chand was dropped from the team to get him out of his comfort zone. Even Sanjay Bharadwaj, Unmukt’s childhood coach said, “He is a hard-working lad, but the problem with him is his poor conversion rate, which I think is due to his cluttered approach and wavering concentration levels. I always ask him to play with a free mind.”
Unmukt has devised a plan to overcome this snag, “Going forward, in the longer formats, I will look to bat at least 100 balls every time I walk out to bat. Being a natural stroke-player, I know that if I bat for that long, I will score runs.”
Unmukt has even joined a yoga class to work on his concentration issues and he said, “I will do whatever I have to get back to scoring runs. Yes, shoddy conversion rate is an area that I need to work on,” he added.”
Unmukt Chand will have seven months of no cricket after Vijay Hazare Trophy, as he was not picked by any franchise in IPL 2018 auctions. Chand said that he will utilize the time in a better way, “During the off-season, I will be in Chennai to play in the Tamil Nadu senior division cricket.”