Aakash Chopra hailed Team India batter Deepak Hooda to grab the opportunity in the first T20I against Ireland with a match-winning knock. Hooda, who is designated as a middle-order batter, was asked to open the innings after Ruturaj Gaikwad sustained a niggle. Hooda, who didn’t get the opportunity in the T20I series against South Africa, make full use of the big chance at the opening spot as he scored unbeaten 47 runs off 29 balls to help India register a comprehensive 7-wicket win.
The 27-year-old also made a strong case for himself for the T20 World Cup squad. He struck 2 sixes and six fours during his knock.
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Chopra said that Hooda has a bit different style of batting but it doesn’t matter if he is scoring runs and winning matches for his team.
“Deepak Hooda got an opportunity to open. Hooda on fire, well done. He batted extremely well. He has a slightly different style of playing, has a wide stance, he is not that pleasing on the eye but it doesn’t matter. Painting should be beautiful, batting should be one that scores runs, remained unbeaten in the end, which is a very big thing in my opinion," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
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Hooda made his international debut earlier this year against West Indies in ODIs where he played a couple of crucial knocks. He was also included in the T20I series against Sri Lanka where he got only one chance to bat and he scored 21 runs off 16 balls.
Chopra further lauded that all-round show from stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya who took a wicket and score quick 24 runs off 12 balls to shift the momentum in India’s favour after losing Suryakumar Yadav’s wicket. The flamboyant all-rounder smacked three sixes as Chopra said that he has the swag when he connects big shots.
“Suryakumar Yadav came and went. Hardik Pandya’s short knock, once again he batted well, hit decently. He got dismissed but Hardik Pandya is looking as good as gold. If the bowling keeps on getting better, what a player. He has the swag when he hits a six."
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