After returning from Australia to a warm reception here, India's triumphant under-19 World Cup captain Unmukt Chand today said his players always had immense self-belief that they would lay their hands on the coveted trophy despite the squad's initial stumbles.
"The best thing about the tournament is we faltered initially and then we got into the groove slightly later in the tournament. We stumbled a bit, but we peaked at the right time," said the Delhi youngster at a media conference here.
"The best part was, we didn't know what was happening in India, that really kept us on target. The belief was very strong among the guys and we always felt we will go and lift the trophy. The belief only took us further in the tournament and win the tournament."
Chand, who top-scored for India with 246 runs from six games, including the match-winning knock of 111 not out in the final against Australia on Sunday, said the team members carried on with a positive mindset after losing the tournament opener against West Indies when the batting flopped.
"All the batsmen go out to score runs but most of the time it does not happen. We lost the first match against West Indies, but even from that we took the positives like our bowling and fielding. That we carried in further matches," Chand said.
"It is not like I didn't want to score but I was fortunate to score in the final when the team wanted me the most."
Chand also hailed the tips given by champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar to the team members before the squad left for the tournament. "We had a half an hour session with him before leaving. The session was quite helpful. He told what we would face there and how we need to tackle it. He helped us a lot and told us the dos and don'ts."
While former International captains such as Ian Chappell and Wasim Akram feel Unmukt Chand should be fast-tracked into the senior team, the star has said that he is not looking too far ahead and wants to do well for India 'A' in the next tournament.
"We are very happy to win the World Cup. Aug 26th is a big day for me. I think I was fortunate to score the hundred when my team needed me most. I have been selected to play for India 'A' and I am looking forward to do well there," Chand told reporers
"The final was an important match and I wanted to do well. Some days you click and some days you don't. I wanted to take India to 226 and I was successful and I am really happy about it.
"I take one tournament at a time. I want to play for India but don't want to think about it now. I want to do well for India A," said Chand, who will be leaving for New Zealand along with the team early next month.