As the India Under-19 boys enter yet another ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup final, it is interesting to look back through the years and observe the career paths of some of the country's brightest prospects. Fans could argue that an Under-19 World Cup-winning captain is guaranteed to make it big in the senior team but beyond Virat Kohli and Prithvi Shaw, lies the curious case of Unmukt Chand. Chand helped the country lift the 2012 Under-19 World Cup and was touted to become yet another batting talent that the world would take notice of. After all, even Kohli's path to greatness began by lifting the coveted trophy in 2008. But Chand's career so far has been unconventional, to say the least.
Unmukt Chand was the captain of India A in 2016 before he was reportedly sacked from the Delhi team and since then, it has been hard to remember any mention of him. According to his personal accounts that he described to a famous newspaper, Chand could never understand why he has not made an India debut yet or why the Delhi team continued to elude him. The right-hander, however, takes his career's setbacks in his stride and still aims to make a senior team debut. After all, even Shivam Dube is 26 and his performance has just started to bear fruit.
Unmukt Chand, who is currently captaining Uttarakhand, moved to his new Ranji team after taking a NOC from the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). The reason behind the move? A fresh start. An optimistic Chand seemed more positive than ever about the chances that he will get as a part of a new setup.
He even addressed the comparisons that are often made between him and Virat Kohli. To this, Chand maintained that his focus lied in running his own race rather than setting external benchmarks for himself. The 2012 Under-19 champion often posts to his social media accounts and tries to propagate a similar philosophy. His last Ranji Trophy fifty came against Sikkim in October 2019.
Chand was the winning captain of the 2012 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, scored 111* in the final. He has scored 3379 first-class runs as a player for Delhi and Uttarakhand. The 26-year-old has played the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Delhi Capitals, the Rajasthan Royals and the Mumbai Indians. Chand has managed to score 300 IPL runs in 21 matches with a high score of 58.