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IND vs WI: Dream Was to Receive India Cap from Either MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, Says Deepak Hooda

Deepak Hooda playing a shot against West Indies in the 1st ODI

Deepak Hooda playing a shot against West Indies in the 1st ODI

The batting all-rounder had also been picked in India's T20 squad in 2017 but didn't get a chance to play.

All-rounder Deepak Hooda says his childhood dream was realised when he received the India cap from the great Virat Kohli during the team’s first ODI against the West Indies last week.

Hooda has always dreamed of playing for India and receiving the debut cap from either Kohli or the legendary MS Dhoni.

“I made my debut in the first ODI, it was an amazing feeling. You always work hard for that. I feel blessed and honoured to be a part of the side,” Hooda said while speaking to teammate Suryakumar Yadav on ‘bcci.tv’ after India’s 44-run win over West Indies in the second ODI on Wednesday.

“Earlier also when I came in the team Virat bhai was not there. While growing up I saw him becoming a legend and Mahi (Dhoni) bhai was already a legend. It was my childhood dream to get the cap from either of them.

“Getting the cap from Kohli was an amazing feeling,” the Baroda player added.

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The batting all-rounder had also been picked in India’s T20 squad in 2017 but didn’t get a chance to play.

Asked what kept him motivated to make the national team, Hooda said, “I worked on sidelining the distraction and work on my process. Good things take time but keep yourself ready.”

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The 26-year-old, who played an unbeaten 26-run knock in the first ODI and contributed 29 runs in the second match, is now eager to learn from the likes of head coach and batting legend Rahul Dravid, white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma and Kohli.

“Obviously, it is a great feeling to share the dressing room with Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid. You always learn so much from them. I am just trying to learn from them.

“My goal is to keep working on my process with the same intent and not worry too much about the outcome,” he added.

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first published:February 10, 2022, 11:31 IST