By the time Unmukt Chand hit host and defending champions Australia out of the ground several times to notch up an unbeaten 111 and help India win the Under-19 World Cup 2012, it was expected of the 19-year-old. He has fed that expectation with some stellar performances and particularly with mature captaincy that stood out. Indian selectors will be dialing a Delhi number very soon.
More than once it has been said - Unmukt on field is reminiscent of a young Virat Kohli leading his Under 19 team to a World Cup victory in 2008.
Like Virat, Unmukt is a Delhi player and is, in fact, not just friends with Team India's swashbuckler, but also looks up to him for advice. Unmukt is the quintessential Gen Next cricketer - he is suave, talented and oozing with confidence. And yet, he's different. In an SMS world, he pens his thoughts in a diary.
After he scored his fifth World Cup century to lead India to lift the World Cup on Sunday, the presenter asked him, "Will you call up Mahendra Singh Dhoni? So you have his number?" Chand replied softly, "I would like to have his number." The presenter smiled and said, "He will get your number soon."
Born to Bharat Chand Thakur and Rajeshwari Chand in Delhi on March 26, 1993, Unmukt started playing cricket when he was six. He schooled at Delhi Public School Noida and Modern School and attends the St Stephen's college; he is pursuing BA (Prog). Unmukt has trained under Sanjay Bhardwaj, who is also the coach of India opener Gautam Gambhir.
A big Sachin Tendulkar fan, Unmukt has represented Delhi in the Under-15, Under-16 and Under-19 teams. He made his first-class debut against Gujarat in 2010 and scored 39 runs. He has played 11 first-class matches and scored 738 runs.
Riding on his performance in the Under-19 circuit, Unmukt made the Delhi Ranji team - he has scored over 400 runs in five matches. He has also captained the Delhi U-19 and North U-19 teams.
In the 2012 U-19 World Cup, Unmukt has impressed one and all with his captaincy skills. With the bat he scored 246 runs in six matches with the help of a century and a half-century.