India batter Deepak Hooda made the most of his opportunity, taking the Player of the Series award against Ireland. After a couple of strong IPL seasons and his debut call-up to the team earlier this year, Hooda was able to take his chance with both hands, scoring 47 * and guiding India to victory in the first T20I. Indian batter to hit 100 in T20
Hooda was aggressive and influential on Irish pitches, using his height to his full advantage, often using his long strides to get on track or pull short balls for huge sixes. He has been devastating and powerful, and has made a case for himself later this year for opportunities in tournaments such as the Asia Cup and possibly the T20 World Cup.
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He was thrown into the deep end in the first match, when Ruturaj Gayakwad was asked to open due to injury. It was tricky chasing in just 12 overs to score 108, but Hooda maintained the task despite his inexperience in the first place.
“Leave the international, I’ve never opened up in my life. But yes, being a top-order batsman, you have to take on the challenges you present, you have to deal with them, ”Hooda said in a post-match presentation. “If you have no choice, and you don’t have a choice, why not go there as a warrior? I think so. I was ready for it and things were working my way. I’m happy about that. ”
Hooda batted for 3rd place in the second T20I, which he did well with the Lucknow Super Giants, but was soon to come after losing his wicket to Ishaan Kishan. He made the most of the extra time in the crease, pairing Sanju Samson with a record 176 and showing his ability to score both offside and legside. He reached his 90 in 45 balls, but then took 10 balls to reach his century – but given his strike rate in the first half of his innings, he could handle it.
However, Hooda is not ready to drown in glory, and move on and strive to be better. “I have recently learned that a player should not go any further. If one has to live in the moment and your process and policies are right, then you are doing well.
Asked about his impressive technique and his ability to hit short ball, Hooda said, “I like short balls. They bowl over you when you go to Australia or when you play competitive cricket. They may be a good option to take to Australia for the World Cup, but for this, they have Virat Kohli. Need to step down – this is a tall job, but Hooda did everything she could to claim it.
India will now prepare for a make-up test in Edgbaston ahead of the limited-overs series against England, in which Rahul Dravid may once again consider giving Hooda some playing time to look like Australia to see how he reacts to the moving ball before deciding which team.