#ChampionsInBlue: Unmukt Chand's message to India for U-19 World Cup
Team India is all set to defend its title during the ICC U-19 World Cup in South Africa, starting Friday. As India eye a record-extending fifth title, they are heading into the tournament as one of the strong favorites. Meanwhile, former U-19 World Cup-winning captain, Unmukt Chand, has come up with some piece of advice for the side. Here is what he said.
Writing for The Indian Express, Chand labeled the tournament as 'pinnacle of age-group cricket', besides also saying that its significance is more than playing for the senior team. "You are the chosen few and I am sure the best 15 in the country. It's an early exposure, so do not let it take control over you. Be aware, there would be distractions," he wrote.
"The smarter you are, the healthier your choices would be. It's an age where you want to try out new things. Be careful of your choices. If cricket is the priority, then you would end up making the right decisions," he added.
Chand also added that the life of these players could become a puzzle hereon and they need to be well prepared to handle it better. Meanwhile, he also urged them to keep fighting for their spot, even though not all might play for the country. "Life can surprise you in many ways you can't even imagine," he further recorded.
India U-19 squad for World Cup: Priyam Garg (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyaansh Saxena, Dhruv Chand Jurel (vc), Shashwat Rawat, Siddhesh Veer, Shubhang Hegde, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra, Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil.
Among players to watch out for are batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has scored 779 runs in 13 List-A innings, while Rajasthan Royals (RR) roped him for Rs. 2.4 crore this auction. Skipper Priyam Garg would also have the eyes upon him, as he could be pivotal for India with the bat. Also, Ravi Bishnoi has been performing well with his leg-breaks.
Notably, Chand's career took a hit following his U-19 WC success. He never played for India. Meanwhile, he did play in the IPL for three teams, where he scored 300 runs in 20 innings at a poor average of 15. However, he was a part of the Mumbai Indians' (MI's) title-winning team in 2015.