Unmukt,work in progresshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/unmukt-work-in-progress/

Unmukt,work in progress

Targets consistency as he attempts to build on his Under-19 success

Delhi batsman Unmukt Chand might have played a dominant role in North Zone’s Deodhar Trophy campaign but despite that,there was some criticism from the commentary box. The commentators admitted that Chand had all the shots in the armoury but still lacked in maturity.

It was the semi-final against Central Zone,and chasing a smallish target of 160 in 33 overs,Chand got North off to a good start and remained unbeaten on 56 (86b,5×4) to take the side home in the company of Yuvraj Singh,who himself had smashed an aggressive 77 off 70 balls. With the run rate no worry and despite Yuvraj urging him to be calm,Chand displayed flashes of irresponsibility,repeatedly playing lofted shots that landed just short of fielders in the deep.

Something similar happened in the next game,the final against West Zone. When on 35 and later on 74,he had close shaves as the fielders let go of half chances. Again,Abhishek Nayar dropped a clear chance in the 29th over. North reached 290 and Chand finished on 88,finally getting out after many chances.

Recently,Chand has had a good run in the big games,including the knockout stages of the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar trophies,with a hundred and two fifties in a semifinal and two finals. He also had a decent Ranji season,with one hundred and three fifties. Despite that,his first class cricket amounts to 39.27,while his list A average is 37.25.

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This suggests a lack in consistency coupled with an inability to make his starts count. For example,Chand has only one fifty beyond a century in seven games of this season’s Vijay Hazare Trophy. Thrice he has gotten out in the twenties after getting starts. The same was the case in the Ranji trophy. One such dismissal to a rash shot after getting set in a crucial situation cost Delhi the game against Haryana at Rohtak.

Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya,who has been assessing Chand’s game feels that the 19-year-old needs to be consistent. With the selectors keeping a close eye on openers,Dahiya says that continuous errors could become fatal in such a scenario where Indian cricket is scouting an opener. “I think his major problem is consistency. I would like to see him getting runs more often. He is playing first class cricket and you don’t get many chances to prove your worth. Unmukt has all the shots in the book but runs matter. He has improved a lot and learnt that his stay at the wicket is important,” Dahiya says.

Chand has showed that he possesses the ability to craft his innings but repeatedly at regular intervals,he sends a message to the bowling side that getting him out isn’t difficult. He would either come up with a lofted stroke or a mistimed slog that ends up falling in a safe area. “That is the problem with stroke players. If they get out on such a stroke,it looks silly on their part but if that same stroke clears the field,everybody would appreciate it. But yes you could avoid them sensing the situation. With Unmukt,he knows what is right or wrong with him but when you are there in the middle,you have to be consistent,” Dahiya adds.

Chand on the other hand,feels that it is his natural game. “I take it as a positive mindset. I don’t think anything is going wrong anywhere. There are times when I am caught brilliantly on a low score while I do get chances and I make sure that I cash them. But I was trying shots against Central Zone as the match was in our grip and I don’t think it’s wrong. In the final,I was struggling to score and I had no option but to try something to score runs,” Chand explains.

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Gambhir anchors Delhi chase

Gurgaon: Gautam Gambhir’s unbeaten 68 helped Delhi beat Punjab by six wickets in a North Zone leg encounter. Chasing a target of 161,Delhi knocked off the required runs with five balls to spare. Delhi got four points from the match while Punjab lost their second game. Gambhir played 54 balls and hit six boundaries and two sixes — one off left-arm spinner Rajwinder Golu and other off seamer Sandeep Sharma over deep mid-wicket. However,Gambhir was dropped twice in the deep and had a charmed life at the crease. Along with Virender Sehwag,he added 76 runs for the opening wicket before the former was run out failing to ground his bat. Sehwag scored 36 off 26 balls with five boundaries.

Brief Scores: Punjab 160/7 (Gurkeerat Singh 57,Mayank Sidhana 35,Varun Sood 2/24,Pawan Negi 2/36) Delhi 162/4 in 19.1 overs (Gautam Gambhir 68 no,Virender Sehwag 36,Puneet Bisht 32)

In other North Zone matches

Services won by 5 wickets against J&K

Haryana won by four runs against HP

Central Zone

Railways 127 for 6 in 20 overs (A Paunikar 37,K Sharma 30; M Khatri 3/20,A Menaria 2/10) lost to Rajasthan 128 for 3 in 17.1 overs (A Menaria 46 n.o,A Lamba 44) by 7 wickets.

In other matches

Vidarbha won by 37 runs against MP

West Zone

Gujarat 193 for 5 in 20 overs (M Juneja 71 n.o,N Patel 51,A Chavan 2/17,A Salvi 2/44) beat Mumbai 173 for 6 in 20 overs (A Tare 47,S Chitnis 36,J Karia 3/21)by 20 runs

East Zone

Orissa 140 for 7 in 17 overs (B Pati 54,G Poddar 38,A Das 3/20) lost to Assam 141 for 3 in 16.2 overs (P Debnath 69 n.o,P Das 29) by 7 wickets

In other matches

Jharkhand won by 8 wickets