Unmukt Chand was determined to take India home: Baba Aparajith

All-rounder Baba Aparajith said the Indian team did not allow the pressure of playing a World Cup final affect their game Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Chennai: Aug 28, 2012

All-rounder Baba Aparajith played a key role in India s triumph against Australia in the Under-19 World Cup final.

Aparajith who took one wicket and later scored 33 runs in a crucial 73-run partnership with skipper Unmukt Chand, in India s run-chase of 226 runs is ecstatic after India’s victory.

“It’s an amazing feeling, hard to describe really,” says Aparajith who still cannot believe their dream has come true.

The all-rounder further adds,” As team, it is the result of two years of hard work and preparation. The journey was not easy, we toiled hard and we finally accomplished what we set out to do.”

This was the last time Aparajith and teammates played together. Aparajith described the team as a family which will be missed.

He was quoted by TOI as saying, “We had discussed this before the game. We knew that this may well be our last game together so we wanted to make it special.

“It was emotional, but I guess that’s part of life. It has been like a family. Everyone played his part. But it was not just the players, all our coaches, the support staff everybody contributed to this so it was a fitting end.”

The Indian team, adds Aparajith, did not allow the pressure of playing a World Cup final affect their game.

“You generally are slightly nervous before a big game but that’s nothing unusual. We’ve played finals before so we were used to the situation,” said Aparajith. “We didn’t let the fact that it was a World Cup final affect us too much.”

His partnership with Unmukt Chand for the second wicket was very crucial. Aparajith feels the duo had to be patient in order to stitch a meaningful partnership after losing a wicket early.

He said, “It wasn’t the greatest of starts so it was important that I stuck around and build a partnership. Unmukt (Chand) and I just spoke about sticking to our guns and batting normally.

“It was a good wicket so we knew that unless we made a mistake, we wouldn’t get out. It was just a matter of being patient and wearing out opponents.”

The all-rounder feels sad to lose his wicket after getting his eye in. He said, “Yes, I was. Like I said, it was a good wicket to bat on so it was disappointing to get out after getting my eye in.”

Chand s innings was extremely crucial in India s victory. Aparajith was particularly impressed by Indian captain s planning.

He said, “I was very happy for him. He’s a very determined guy and he was bent on taking the side home and being there at the end.

“He planned his innings really well. He was patient when necessary and played some tremendous shots too.”

Australian captain William Bosisto was awarded Man-of-the-series for his consistency throughout the series. Many anticipated Aparajith to get the award for his all-round performance for India but the all-rounder is undeterred and feels team s victory was more important than personal glory.

He said, “Honestly, that wasn’t something that was on my mind. So it made no difference to me. I just wanted our team to win. That was all that mattered.”

More stories on India’s ICC Under-19 World Cup win

Australia vs India, ICC Under-19 World Cup final