After scoring an incredible 151 runs throughout both of his T20 International appearances, Deepak Hooda was awarded the title of Player of the Series for the just-finished two-match T20I series against Ireland. The flamboyant batsman has now spoken publicly about his experience and the mindset he used when beginning the innings in the first Twenty20 international.
After hitting a magnificent 104 runs in the second Twenty20 International for India, Hooda became just the fourth Indian player to ever get a century in T20Is for India. He also broke the record for the most runs scored in a stand with Sanju Samson, which was 176. The right-handed batter had a very successful season with the bat in the Indian Premier League in 2022, which earned him a spot on the national squad. Nevertheless, he did not participate in the Twenty20 International series against South Africa.
The batsman who bats in the middle order shared what went through his head when he was asked to begin the innings for India in the first Twenty20 International after the normal opener, Ruturaj Gaikwad, developed a niggle.
“I’ve never opened in an international game, but as a top-order batsman, you have to be able to deal with the difficulties, and you don’t have any other choice. And if you don’t have any other choice, then you may as well show some bravery and go there anyhow. That’s how I believe, and fortunately for me, things worked out that way. I am thrilled,” Hooda stated to his teammates after the game.
It fills me with immense satisfaction to be able to say that I’m playing for India: Deepak Hooda
Hooda also gave thanks to Hardik Pandya for his performance as captain of the Indian squad and lauded how Pandya has accepted responsibility and guided the team throughout the series. The top-order batter expressed gratitude to the crowd for all of their support during the match that had just been played. He remarked that it does not matter how many runs he scores for the team, the fact that he can play for India makes him feel pleased at all times.
“Clearly, Hardik is doing an excellent job of leading. In the Indian Premier League, he was the captain of a new team that ended up winning the championship. I couldn’t be happier for him and the way he’s stepping up to take responsibilities. I have a lot of pride in him since he is doing so well. Yes, the fact that I am playing for India is a source of pride for me, and this is true regardless of whether or not I am scoring,” Hooda said.