Sanjay Manjrekar feels that India should keep Deepak Hooda in the mix for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The former India cricketer heaped praise on Hooda for an outstanding IPL season where he scored 451 runs for Lucknow Super Giants. Despite his consistent show in IPL, Hooda failed to get a chance in the XI for the South Africa T20Is. The strong comebacks from Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik made things a bit difficult for Hooda as India have a jam-packed middle-order where several players are knocking on doors for a place in the XI.
However, Hooda has a chance to display his ability on the Ireland tour if he manages to get a place in the XI. It will be a crucial tour for Hooda to make his case strong for the T20 World Cup.
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However, Manjrekar feels that Hooda should get a chance in the Ireland series as he was at his best during IPL 2022 where he batted with a lot of responsibility in the middle order.
“I am expecting him to get a look in this (Ireland) series because I thought we saw the best of Deepak Hooda in this last IPL. He has been around for a long time and you have seen sporadic sort of displays of his work and his ability. The last IPL, he came of age,” Sanjay Manjrekar replied to a News18 Cricketnext query in a select media interaction conducted by Sony Sports Network ahead of the India tour of Ireland.
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.
The IPL 2022 turned out to be a turning point for Hooda as it was the first time when a franchise put extra faith in his ability and promoted him up in the batting order. He scored four half-centuries in 15 matches and played a crucial role in Lucknow’s journey to the playoffs.
Manjrekar also feels that Hooda with his off-spin can chip in well for India in the crucial situations on a dry pitch.
“You always need guys who can command a place as batter but chip in with a couple of overs. That’s where Hooda on a dry pitch could come to good use,” he said.
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The former cricketer backed Hooda to find a place in the XI for Ireland tour as he feels India need a player like him in the batting order who can switch gears in the slog overs with big hits.
“India need somebody like him down the order, it’s a very difficult job and Hood did a terrific job in IPL. He is somebody that India will I am sure look at. If they would not have been part of their plans, so I am hoping that the guys who did really well in that series against South Africa then rested and start looking at these people and give them a long rope,” Manjrekar added.
(Watch the LIVE coverage of Ireland vs India – 1st & 2nd T20i on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 26th & 28th June 2022 from 9:00 pm IST.)
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