U-19 India captain Unmukt upbeat ahead of World Cup

first_imgSeven wins in a row speaks a lot about the aptitude of a team playing its first major tournament. If that isn’t enough, the fact that it was the India under-19 team which notched up the feat in the just-concluded quadrangular series featuring Australia, Sri Lanka and West Indies, is definitely more commndable.Speaking to MAIL TODAY, skipper Unmukt Chand said it was a perfect start for the team looking at the u-19 World Cup coming up in August 2012.”The last couple of weeks have been amazing. Starting off with a record breaking win in the opening match against Australia, it was important that we kept the momentum going and that is exactly what we did. Training together for the last two years definitely helped as we know the strengths and weaknesses of each other pretty well,” said Unmukt.”Cricket is a team game, so it was important that everyone contributes and that is exactly what we did. It wasn’t that only a couple of players were performing, it was a cohesive effort. But this is just the start.We need to keep the intensity going and keep the winning form intact as we prepare for the upcoming u-19 World Cup in Australia,” he added.Commenting on his own form, Unmukt said: “It felt good to lead from the front. For me, the onus was always on scoring runs. When I was at the crease, captaincy didn’t bother me as my role was that of an opening batsman. It was only when I was back in the pavilion and on the field that I concentrated on captaincy. I never mixed the two roles.” But Unmukt feels being the second highest scorer definitely helped him lead the side. “I won’t disagree that as a captain it was important to score runs because it rubs off the confidence on the other players as well. Moreover, for a skipper to not score means that it would play on my mind when I took the field. Egging the team on becomes an issue then.advertisement”My scoring runs meant that I earned my place in the squad. It is important that other players in the team don’t feel that I am playing only because I am the captain. I should justify my place in the team at all times and I feel I did that. The captain garners more respect when he contributes to the team’s cause,” he said.Although the team will be disbanding and the players will go back for the domestic season, Unmukt feels it will be important that the team re- groups soon after and plays as many tournaments as possible in the leadup to the World Cup.”Even though we are all heading home to play the domestic season, we shall all come together after that and play in as many tournaments as possible to prepare for Australia.”We have a series lined up in April, but I think we shall play one or two more series before that. It is important not to lose focus and momentum. All the players are confident and we need to build on that,” he signed off.last_img

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