Unmukt Chand's season of reckoning

The head seems screwed on right, and the bat does come down and follow through smoothly. On the anniversary of the "most brilliant time" of his life, here's hoping Chand will keep scoring runs, reward or not.

updated: August 27, 2013 13:24 IST
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There's nothing quite like the captain of a team playing a defining innings in a big match. There are quite a few of these instances. For people following Indian cricket, nothing probably comes close to MS Dhoni's heroics in the final of the 2011 World Cup, though Kapil Dev's unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup is perhaps less memorable only because few of us saw him in action.

More recently, there was Unmukt Chand's unbeaten 111 in the final of the 2012 Under-19 World Cup final - exactly a year ago, on August 26, in Townsville, Australia. Against Australia. It won't be fair to say that the Indians were not the favourites, but in such conditions, India are never really tipped to win. They did though.

Captaincy is clearly a spur for Chand. It was a smart move on the part of the powers that be to keep the members of the team largely together for a fair period leading up to the World Cup. "I was used to being the captain and the players were used to me as the captain," Chand tells me over the phone from Singapore, where he is a part of the India Under-23 squad at the Asian Cricket Council's Emerging Teams Cup. "We were together and the camaraderie was great. We wanted to give it our best and we did."

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