Sports

Deepak Hooda, the fire still burns bright

Whoever saw Deepak Hooda in the IPL from 2015 onwards knew that the guy had special talent.

Natural ability

He was first picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad and had this natural ability to clear the boundary. He was handy with the ball as well and used to bowl regularly in 2015 and 2016 with decent returns.

However, gradually that went on the back burner and his runs also dried up. But he was still picked in the team on ability and because of being a utility player who could chip in with both bat and ball and the team management over the years realised that the player had an innate ability and could deliver a match winning performance on his day.

He wasn’t able to do anything special in the IPL for the longest time before he finally turned the corner in IPL 2022, having worked on his game during the COVID-19.

He also had a brawl with Baroda captain Krunal Pandya in the meantime and had to switch states. However, that did not seem to affect his game as he continued to pile on the runs in domestic cricket.

The tide changes

The results began to show in the IPL as well as he finished with his best season in 2022, scoring 451 runs from 15 matches. He was a big part of the Lucknow Super Giants batting line up and one of the main reasons that they were able to stick to five and sometimes even six proper bowlers, given the insurance in the batting order.

He struck four half centuries in IPL 2022 with the best of 59 and is also knocking on Team India’s door in recent times.

4th Indian batter to score a T20I century

Hooda has shown a lot of maturity with the bat and has delivered in the few opportunities that he has got for team India. After playing a couple of useful knocks against West Indies and Sri Lanka, he blasted an unbeaten 29 ball 47 in the first T20 against Ireland in June 2022 after regular opener RuturajGaikwad couldn’t bat due to injury.

Hooda not only scored his runs quickly but also finished the game for his side, which are good signs for both Indian cricket and the youngster.

Hooda recently became only the 4th Indian batter to score a T20I century.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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