MUMBAI: Tuesday’s game between the Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians should’ve given the city’s cricket-lovers the first glimpse of Unmukt Chand, touted as the man critical to the future of Indian cricket ever since his wonderful, unbeaten 111 won India the U-19 World Cup last year.
However, an outstanding catch from Ricky Ponting ensured that Chand had to return to the dressing room playing the very first ball. However, there’s no denying the young man’s talent and while the Twenty20 league, so far, hasn’t been lucky for him, there’s a lot of talent in store to look forward to.
As the tournament goes ahead, the 19-year-old Chand would look to reverse the fortunes of himself and that of his team. He spoke with TOI…
It’s been a difficult start for you in this IPL….
In the first match I got out first ball. I did better in the second match, but can do even better. I got a good start against Rajasthan Royals but could not capitalise.
How is the experience of opening with Australian opener David Warner?
I am spending some good time with Warner. It’s been a great learning experience, seeing the way he started his innings and the way he progressed. He did not take chances initially and then as the game progressed, he started playing more aggressively. All these things teach you. He has been telling me to just be there and wait for loose balls.
Recently Kevin Pietersen visited the Delhi Daredevils camp. Did he share any tips with you?
He’s been a great help and keeps chipping in when anyone goes to him. He is a very nice bloke and is easily approachable.
Describe your philosophy towards playing T20…
T20 is a game of improvisation but you have to strike a balance between improvising and sticking to your own style. I want to balance it out even more in playing my natural game and improvising as well so that it does not get too much one-sided.
The Daredevils have lost both their games so far. How confident are you that the team would bounce back?
It’s only the initial part of the tournament. We are capable of turning things around. There’s still a long way to go.