Townsville, Aug 27: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram heaped praise on India's Unmukt Chand who led the team to its third U-19 World Cup triumph, said the young lad is ready for a bigger role and can play for the senior team.
Unmukt Chand, who scored an unbeaten 111 to help India defeat Australia by 6 wickets in the final, drew a lot of attention, as Akram also mentioned it as one of the best knocks in U-19 cricket.
"As a whole package, he is excellent. This guy is very special and I hope the Indian selectors are looking at him because Ian Chappell (former Australian captain) has been saying, we have been saying that Chand is ready for India," said Akram.
Akram also added that he was privileged to have witnessed such a knock played by Chand, and also said that Chand, Sandeep are the guys who have shown the world that they are ready for a bigger challenge.
"It's been our privilege to see the innings played today by Chand. It's the best innings in U-19 cricket that I have ever seen. I think few players are ready to play for India 'A' or may be for the Indian team, Sandeep Sharma and Unmukt Chand. Chand has already got picked for India 'A' touring New Zealand in September-October," he said.
Chand, third U-19 captain to have led his team to win the title after Mohammad Kaif and Virat Kohli in 2000 and 2008.
However, Akram was lavishing praise on a few more players as he said Smit Patel was outstanding, as he scored 62, who assisted Chand in achieving the target of 226 with 14 balls to spare.
"It was a clever move by the captain or the coach to send him up the order in place of Akshdeep Nath, who had an average tournament. Smit is a busy player. He takes singles and hit boundaries. Overall, he supported the captain well and rotated the strike.
"That's where he is very useful and Chand, all the way, was very calm and composed. There was as such no pressure on him and this guy (Smit) helped that cause as well," added Akram.
Before concluding, Akram said that a win on Australian soil was fantastic, and moreover, to win a World Cup Down Under was just brilliant.
"This is ultimate...To win the World Cup and that too in Australia where the wickets help the fast bowlers. I think they came out on top.