'Chand more talented than Gambhir'

Sanjay Bhardwaj feels India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand is a better talent than his other illustrious ward Gautam Gambhir.

Unmukt Chand bats during the 2012 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and India. (Getty Images)


New Delhi: For a coach, it is always difficult to compare two of his favourite students.

But Sanjay Bhardwaj feels India U-19 captain Unmukt Chand is a better talent than his other illustrious ward Gautam Gambhir.

“Unmukt is certainly more talented than what Gautam was at his age. While Unmukt is a mixture of talent and hardwork, Gautam was all sweat. If you see Unmukt’s career graph, his biggest plus is grabbing every major opportunity he has got till now. Gautam had to struggle and fight a lot more than Unmukt. Gauti was all about guts,” Bhardwaj said.

“I am lucky both Gautam and Unmukt chose me as their guide. It’s their talent and hard work which has made me look as a good coach and not the other way round. I have only groomed and fine-tuned a few mental aspects of the game. It’s their dedication that has taken them where they are right now,” Bhardwaj said.

Asked about Unmukt’s chances of making it to the senior team, Bhardwaj said: “By early 2013, Unmukt should be in the senior team. Obviously, he would have to perform well but he has the talent to do well,” the coach said.

According to Bhardwaj, in a sport like cricket, it helps if a cricketer has a solid background like Gambhir and Unmukt.

“Unmukt’s mentor was his uncle who is now in Mumbai. He brought Unmukt when he was only 12 years old."

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“He was a disciplined boy then and is very obedient even now. He is firmly rooted to the ground. Unmukt studied at Modern School and now doing his graduation from St Stephen’s. So his education is very good.”

Bhardwaj said parents of aspiring cricketers should never ignore education.

“A lot of parents come with a bagful of money and as me to their sons a Gautam Gambhir…. I tell them that I am just a medium. The youngster has to be hardworking and dedicated,” he said.