“Getting dropped from Delhi was the biggest disappointment of my life. I became the scapegoat of petty politics in the team. I was playing a T20 zonal match in Mumbai two years back, when I heard the news of getting axed from the One-day side. I was leading India A in a couple of months before that, and was the highest scorer there. I had been the top run-getter for Delhi the previous season, and I was dropped. That was shocking,” the 24-year-old told TOI in Dharamshala where he was participating in the Deodhar Trophy.
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The axe hurt the IPL prospects of the once Delhi and India ‘A’ captain as it happened just before the auction on both occasions and saw him fail to land a contract with any team.
“I was retained by MI last year but because I didn’t get to play matches in the previous year, I decided to get released from the squad to find a team where I could play, and not sit out, even at base price. Playing is more important than money. It was a hard decision and a big risk too, but I opted out. Unfortunately, I was dropped from the Delhi side four days before the auction, and I’m sure it didn’t send the right signal to the franchisees. I wasn’t picked,” he added.
This year, he was played in only two matches in the domestic T20 tournament for Delhi, one of them being a final, where he scored a half-century but again failed to find favour with the franchisees.
With uncertainty over his place in the Delhi set-up, the idea of plying his trade for another state did cross his mind. “Yes, I have thought about it. I have been forced to think about it. However, things are still not concrete,” he reveals. In hindsight, though, he says the exclusion from the Delhi team ‘liberated’ him in a way..
Shocking. Chand is no Kohli. But he has quality in his batting. There has always been questions about his attitude and temperament. But to be dropped from the Delhi team after being captain and with … Read MoreRahul Bhatnagar
“I had lived my biggest fear of getting dropped from the Delhi Ranji team, and thus overcame the fear by only realizing the next day that it was a mental barrier and nothing else. I went beyond the fear. It liberated me.”
For now, Chand is on a ‘mission comeback’ having scored 400 runs in his last eight games for Delhi across formats. Having seen the after-effects of being burdened with expectations following that Townsville triumph, he has a word of advice for U-19 World Cup winners. “Don’t rush. Keep working on the game. Be hard on yourself but don’t forget to