Former India wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya revealed how Gautam Gambhir played a crucial role in Deepak Hooda’s success in IPL 2022 for Lucknow Super Giants. Hooda was one of the standout performers with the bat in this year’s IPL as he scored 451 at an average of 32.21. The 27-year-old, who used to play the finisher’s role in previous seasons, was promoted in middle-order by the Lucknow Super Giants management.
After IPL 2022, Hooda didn’t get a chance in the playing XI during the South Africa T20Is. However, he took complete advantage of the opportunities on the Ireland T20Is as he slammed a fifty in the first match and followed it up with a magnificent century in the second to make a big statement.
LSG assistant coach Dahiya said that the franchise mentor Gambhir told Hooda that he will be playing all matches in IPL 2022.
“Gauti told him, whatever happens, you will play all the games. Deepak was pleasantly surprised, because it’s the kind of backing he hadn’t got in the IPL,” Dahiya told ESPNCricinfo.
Dahiya also heaped praises on Hooda and said that he trained with a purpose and has a lot of hunger to improve and succeed in the game.
“He’s a keen student of the game. He wants to get better every day. There is purpose to his training, the hunger is immense. But sometimes, he could become too intense for someone who is keen to do well. He can be hard on himself at times,” added Dahiya.
The LSG assistant coach further said that the team management advised Hooda to tone down the intensity so that it didn’t affect him much when he fails to score big.
“The shorter formats can be unforgiving, so we had to speak to him a few times to let go and be less intense. The thing with such a mindset is, when things are going well, you aren’t going to find too many issues, but when things don’t come off, that is when it could get tricky. But he’ll learn, he has a tremendous work ethic, and it’s all part of his development as a player,” he added.