New Delhi: Unmukt Chand became the cynosure of all eyes after leading India to the under-19 World Cup victory in Townsville, Australia in August 2012. Not only did he hit a century in the pressure-packed final against the hosts but demonstrated immense composure at a time when India were reeling at 97 for four. All that and more were visible when the 19-year-old turned up to endorse a gizmo at a posh New Delhi hotel on Tuesday. Of course, everyone wanted a piece of him but NDTV.com spoke to the all-rounder, exclusively. The rising star of Indian cricket revealed his cricketing dreams and much more. Excerpts.
On his ambition to make it to Team India: Obviously I want that to happen as early as possible. May be a year or two but right now I am focused on whatever cricket I get to play for Delhi and in the Indian Premier League.
On Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni: I met Dhoni in one of the awards ceremony (Castrol Cricketer of the Year awards 2012). He is a very humble guy, extremely calm and composed. MS likes to live in the present and never frets over what has passed and what could happen. He also handles media pressures extremely well. As a youngster, I found Dhoni easily accessible and one can speak his heart out to him.
On superstitions and goodluck charms: I personally have no superstitions as such but like most players, do have some routines. Sometimes my mum tells me to put 'something' (without specifying) in my pocket and I just do that. No questions asked. Also, my favourite colours are black and white but my mother always chucks the black ones out of my wardrobe.
On under-19 World Cup win and his meditation routine: I was really lucky to keep calm that day. I guess a lot of that has to do with the years of training. What also helps me is the fact that I meditate 15-20 minutes daily. But again, I was really lucky on that pressure-filled day.
On playing IPL with the star-studded Delhi Daredevils: There are many good overseas players in our batting line-up (Warner, Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Jayawardena) but I am confident of figuring in the first XI because only four foreigners can play at a time. We had a good last season in the IPL. The team has backed me a lot and I hope to contribute even more.
On harbouring dreams to play with Sachin in ODIs: Well, who would not have dreamt that. But, that's how it goes in life.
On the way forward: Ranji season with Delhi was good for me but it could have been better. I want to take one step at a time rather than taking a big one. Now I am waiting for the Ranji one-dayers to make an impression.
On movies and modeling career: I do not have any ambition as of now. Want to play 10-15 years of good cricket. These things can wait.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 05 February 2013 20:22 IST