Deepak Hooda Feels He Can’t Replace Virat Kohli At No.3
By CricShots - Nov 22, 2022 1:14 pm
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The Indian all-rounder Deepak Hooda said on Tuesday that he is looking forward to cementing his place in the T20I side as a utility all-rounder, adding he has been working hard on his bowling as well over the last 3 months. He managed to scalp 4 wickets in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui as India successfully defended a 191-run total, sealing a 65-run win to take an unbeatable 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda

With captain Hardik Pandya giving a clarion call to his team, saying he would want his batters to bowl a bit, Deepak Hooda is putting his hand up as someone who can bowl handy off-spin. While talking to the broadcaster ahead of the final T20I in Napier, Hooda said, “I am a batting all-rounder, so scoring runs is very important, but I’m working on my bowling as well and want to chip in whenever the team needs me.”

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He further added, “I have been playing as an all-rounder since my debut, I have worked hard on my bowling over the last 3 months, even when I’m not featuring in the team.”

Deepak Hooda has not been included in the playing XI quite consistently ever since he made his debut earlier this year. Hooda has played 15 matches and was also part of India’s T20 World Cup squad but he only managed to play one game against South Africa. 

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda bowled well in Tauranga

When asked which batting spot he feels comfortable at, Hooda said he has been realistic about his dreams to bat at No. 3, considering Virat Kohli who made a mark at the spot in the T20 World Cup. On Sunday, Suryakumar Yadav batted at No. 3 in the absence of Kohli and hit his 2nd T20I century – a stunning 51-ball 111 not out.

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Describing the same, Deepak Hooda said, “I would like to bat at 5, we have a legend playing at 3 and I have to be realistic, I can’t get that spot. It’s a problem at times to adapt to batting at 5 or 6, but I have done that role as I am a utility player and need to play according to the situation of the game.”

New Zealand, led by Tim Southee, won the toss and opted to bat in the series finale in Napier.