My focus is on A tour to New Zealand: Unmukt Chand

Chand also hailed the tips given by Sachin Tendulkar to the team members before the players left for Australia.



Mumbai: India’s Under-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand on Tuesday said his players always had immense self-belief that they would win the trophy despite their initial setbacks.

“The best thing about the tournament is we faltered initially and then we got into the groove slightly later in the tournament. We stumbled a bit, but peaked at the right time,” said the Delhi youngster at a media conference here.

“The best part was, we didn’t know what was happening in India, that really kept us on target. The belief was very strong among the guys and we always felt we will go and lift the trophy. The self-belief only helped us to win the tournament.”

Chand, who top-scored for India with 246 runs from six games, including a match-winning 111 not out in the final against Australia on Sunday, said the team members carried on with a positive mindset after losing the tournament opener against West Indies when the batting flopped.

“All the batsmen go out to score runs but most of the time it does not happen. We lost the first match against the West Indies, but we took the positives from that match... We carried that in the matches that followed,” Chand said.

“It is not like I didn’t want to score earlier, but I was fortunate to score in the final when the team wanted me the most.”

Chand also hailed the tips given by Sachin Tendulkar to the team members before the players left for Australia. “We had a half-an-hour session with him before leaving. The session was helpful... He told what we would face there and how we need to tackle it. He helped us a lot and told us the dos and don’ts,” said Chand.

The India colts skipper, who smashed a match-winning unbeaten century in the summit clash at Townsville, played down the talks about his imminent inclusion in the seniors team.

“I just take one tournament at a time and I am really happy that we did well at the World Cup as a unit… The next step (for me) is India A and I will be looking forward to doing well over there. It’s too early to say anything about playing for India. I do want to play for India but at the moment I want to focus on wherever I go and play."

“(Berth in the) senior team is a long way away. Now there is an India A team (tour to New Zealand) where I have to perform. If I perform well, then let’s see,” he said earlier on arrival at the airport.

Chand, who has followed in the footsteps of Mohammed Kaif and Virat Kohli to lead the country to the Under-19 World Cup title, is in the India A squad to be led by Abhinav Mukund, which is to tour New Zealand. The tour begins next month.


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