Unmukt Chand was a famous name even before he led India’s 2012 Under-19 World Cup team to a grand victory in the final against the hosts Australia. The swashbuckling opener slammed a hundred in the final to create waves across the world. Some said that India has got its next Virat Kohli. Unmukt Chand scored and unbeaten 111* in only 130 deliveries, smashing 7 fours and 6 sixes during his innings and was named Man of the Match. The awards didn’t stop there. When he returned to India, there was a book contract with Penguin and a Pepsi advertisement with Kohli and MS Dhoni. He wasn’t yet out of his teens and everyone wanted a piece of him.
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. For the last three seasons Unmukt hasn’t been picked by any IPL team. For the last two years he hasn’t featured in a first-class match for Delhi, his state-team. The second of those setbacks even forced Unmukt to seek opportunities beyond Delhi.
The right-hand batsman left Delhi state team in 2019 and moved to Uttarakhand to ply his trade. Unmukt Chand was even appointed the captain of his new state team but seems like ill luck followed him as he was removed from the position after a series of loses.
Ian Chappell had told in 2012 that Unmukt Chand should be fast-forwarded to the Indian team or else he would ‘Stagnate’. Was he right?
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.