Unmukt Chand turns to Mohinder Amarnath for help

Unmukt, 60 first-class matches old, sought the help of Mohinder Amarnath, who played 249 first-class matches, including 69 Tests, to reorganise his batting.

Mohinder Amarnath, in the past, has always helped out batsmen on technical issues.   -  Special Arrangement

For the beleaguered Unmukt Chand, it was just the opportunity he had been long waiting for – to meet Mohinder Amarnath. The chance came during the inaugural DDCA Conclave at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Wednesday where Mohinder had a stand named after him.

Unmukt, 60 first-class matches old, sought the help of Mohinder, who played 249 first-class matches, including 69 Tests, to reorganise his batting.

The 24-year-old, who was hailed as the next big name in Indian cricket after he led the under-19 team to World Cup triumph in 2012, has not been able to secure his place in the Delhi squad due to inconsistent form.

Read: Unmukt features in rare event

“I had tried to meet him in Goa (during a tournament) but Mohinder Sir was away. I somehow failed to meet him. I grabbed the chance today to learn from him the way to deal with my current situation. His wealth of experience and his ability to stage so many comebacks to the Indian team is an inspiring story,” said Unmukt.

It's all in the mind

Mohinder, in the past, has always helped out batsmen on technical issues. “I welcome anyone who seeks guidance. As a senior you must help out young players,” said Mohinder, who excelled against the best of bowlers.

"He told me to concentrate on my strong points,” Unmukt said. “He insisted that cricket is a simple game and I must keep things simple. You invite pressure when you overanalyse or overthink. He told me how he would be ready for the pressure by preparing for it. It always helps if you prepare well.”

Mohinder scored nine of his 11 Test centuries while playing overseas and won the man of the match honours in the semifinal and final of the 1983 World Cup. “I wanted to know how he coped with the phases when runs deserted him. He explained it was all in the mind. Of course, there can be times when one may have to make some technical changes but the main thing is always in the mind. You have to be mentally strong,” noted Unmukt.

Shot selection, advised Mohinder, was also important. “There will be pitches where you would have to curb your shots. You have to avoid shots like hook when playing on pitches in the sub-continent. The pull shot would be a better choice. You have to get accustomed to the situation before you decide on the shots to play,” Unmukt was told.

Unmukt would do well to remember the performance of Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal this season. “I know. After a pair in his second match, he has scored 1000-plus runs in a month. It is a matter of one good inning,” observed Unmukt as Mohinder assured his help whenever needed.