His confident strides, the swagger at the crease bear striking similarities with another former India U-19 captain and Unmukt Chand readily agrees that Virat Kohli has been an inspiration for him.
“I look upto Virat for inspiration. He is a role model for all U-19 cricketers. He has shown us and given us confidence that we all can work hard and move up the grade.
From being an U-19 World Cup captain to being India vice-captain, he has been phenomenal,” Unmukt said. “Just after Virat scored that brilliant hundred at Hobart against Sri Lanka, I called him up in Australia to know about certain aspects of my batting. I was getting out for 30’s and 40’s and was really worried. So I called up Virat, asked him what exactly should I do? Is it mental thing that I need to sort out? Virat told me that I should plan for the next ball rather than looking too far ahead,” Unmukt stated.
Some of the well-known names of U-19 circuit like Siddharth Kaul, Ajitesh Argal have lost their way in these four years but the 19-year-old doesn’t want to think on those lines.
“I can’t comment about any other player and only talk about myself. I would always like to look at the positives and that’s why I would rather look at Virat’s example. I want to do well in all formats and not give precedence to any one particular format.”
Recently, his coach Sanjay Bhardwaj has called him “more talented at 18 years” than Gautam Gambhir and he termed it as a huge compliment.
“Any comparison with someone like Gautam bhaiya is a huge compliment. These are words which inspire you to do better as it’s not easy to achieve what he has achieved for India.”
Sachin Tendulkar’s praise that he has a “bright future” is something that he will cherish for a lifetime.