Irfan Pathan compares Deepak Hooda’s ardour for cricket to a child in a sweet retailer. He merely loves the “style” of a cricket discipline. “He loves the style of enjoying cricket, just about like chocolate,” says the previous India all-rounder. Following a slightly eventful 2021 when he stop his residence workforce Baroda after a nicely documented spat with skipper Krunal Pandya, Hooda has earned his maiden call-up to the Indian ODI workforce for the house sequence in opposition to the West Indies.
The batting all-rounder had additionally been picked in India’s T20 squad again in 2017 however didn’t get to play. With India trying to discover long-term options for his or her shaky middle-order, the 26-year-old has a superb likelihood of creating a protracted awaited debut subsequent month.
The choice marks the excessive level of a roller-coaster final 12 months for Hooda who displayed exceptional psychological power to beat a darkish section in his profession.
Six months after storming out of the Baroda workforce lodge as a consequence of his argument with Krunal, Hooda joined Rajasthan forward of the 2021-2022 season as knowledgeable.
Normally, outstation gamers, who be a part of smaller groups are paid an extra payment over and above their match payment, however such was his mind set that Hooda by no means spoke cash with the RCA officers.
He was desperately wished to get again to enjoying and with Rajasthan on the lookout for a confirmed performer like him to nurture the native expertise, it was a win win scenario for each events.
“He simply wished to play. By no means requested for payment that skilled gamers often ask for. We knew the circumstances wherein he got here to us. It was a win-win. We wanted a batting all-rounder like him and somebody who might information the native gamers.
“We really feel proud that he was capable of do nicely for us which helped him get picked for India,” RCA secretary Mahender Sharma instructed PTI.
He was the second highest run getter within the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, his first competitors, earlier than he being made captain for the next Vijay Hazare Trophy the place he scored a century in opposition to Karnataka.
Pathan, who has mentored Hooda ever since he began enjoying for Baroda in 2013, additionally recalled that robust interval for the Rohtak-born cricketer and the way he received into the Rajasthan facet.
“It’s a true story. Lot of groups wished him. He did not care concerning the cash. He simply wished to go on the market and play and that is the sort of character he’s. He is a child in a sweet retailer in the case of enjoying cricket and he simply loves it.
“He would not care about different advantages and all the things. Among the determination makers (at RCA) had been additionally stunned that he did not speak about cash. He did not speak about commercials,” stated Pathan.
The previous India pacer stood by Hooda throughout his low section final yr however now feels there’s little level in dwelling on what occurred.
“I do not need him to speak about it. I simply need him to be grateful that he is been chosen for India.
“He is been in actually good mind set. And every time I’ve spoken to him, he has at all times talked extremely about Baroda cricket which gave him a fantastic platform. He’s very grateful about that.
“All credit score to him, all credit score to his household, they managed him nicely and it wasn’t straightforward and he got here out of it.” Hooda, whose father works within the Indian Air Pressure, could be India’s reply to their center woes, believes Pathan.
The 2 lately hung out on the Moti Bagh Stadium in Baroda earlier than Pathan left for Oman to play within the Legends League.
“I used to be there with him 10 days in the past and I used to be seeing his batting additionally. Those that observe home circuit know that in case you’re batting nicely in Moti Bagh (inexperienced floor), you might be truly batting nicely.
“He should have batted two periods, every session minimal 300 to 400 balls. He was hardly enjoying away from his physique. The ball does a bit and 95 per cent of the time he was in management.
“And I used to be like, ‘wow, if he will get chosen proper now he’ll rating runs for India’. Most significantly, he is received excellent fielding talents as nicely and skill to bowl with a brand new ball within the powerplay in addition to with the previous ball,” stated Pathan.
Itemizing out extra causes for his potential success as a middle-order batter, Pathan added: “So what would you like in a center order batter? Are you able to maneuver the strike ? Can you’re taking Singles and Doubles usually? Sure, he can as a result of he is received excellent wrists.
“He is received a extremely good play on the leg facet. He has improved his offside play so much.
“He is received good supple wrists that are essential…Can he speed up when he will get set? He can as a result of he is received these massive pictures as nicely.”
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