India U19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand,in an exclusive conversation with The Indian Express,rues missing on one big knock in the IPL and talks about the road ahead.
The IPL was not a memorable outing. What went wrong?
Ups and downs are part of cricket. It happens. I was in great form heading into the IPL with two hundreds in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,but somehow things didnt go well in the IPL. I missed out early,but made a good comeback with a couple of good knocks. I was batting well,but couldnt get that one big knock under my belt.
Time to curb the aggressive instinct?
I dont think it has got to do with rash or aggressive shots. Facing the first ball of the IPL was a special experience. I was excited,but Brett Lee bowled a brilliant opening delivery. A batsman is not set on the first ball of the innings,and that ball was a great one.
What has been your training/practice regime post the IPL?
I figured out what could be improved and have been working on that. After the IPL,I have not made any major changes to my game,just some minor adjustments to fine tune batting. I have been playing a lot of cricket and practicing hard. More than the technical thing,Im working on the mental aspect of the game. There was no major concern,just some fine tuning to be ready for the road ahead.
Fancy a spot in the India A squad set to tour South Africa?
Yes,Im working very hard for that. Playing a lot of cricket and staying in shape for the matches ahead. I expect a call and am very focussed for the same.
Despite making Ranji debut three years ago,you are yet to enjoy domestic success?
I was batting well during the Ranji Trophy,but could manage only one hundred this season. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy,I was not able to find form early but scored a good hundred in the final. Things went well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,where I scored two hundreds,and got a good hit in the middle ahead of the IPL. I have now played enough domestic cricket to get the feel of it. It is really important to score in the Ranji Trophy,and it is not that I cant or Im missing something. Im sure success in Ranji will come to me.
There were rumours of the police reaching your home for questioning?
This is absolutely false information. Nothing of that sorts happened. I was very much at home,and was studying for my exams. I dont know from where it all cropped up,but nothing like that actually happened. The newspaper,which carried the story,apologised the next day.
What affect did the IPL spot-fixing have on a youngster like you?
It was a very bad news for cricket and cricket lovers to see alleged involvement of cricketers. It definitely hurts the spirit of cricket and is something I always distance myself from. I am absolutely against any practice affecting the spirit in which the game is played. But I firmly believe that we cant generalise the issue.