All-rounder Deepak Hooda cemented his place in the Indian T20 set-up on the back of some fine knocks including his maiden hundred earlier this year. However, limited chances kept him in and out of action. He even featured in the Super 12 tie against South Africa in the T20 World Cup Down Under but got out for a duck and then didn’t bowl. But come the New Zealand T20Is, he couldn’t do much with the bat as unfortunately, he was one of the three wickets in Tim Southee’s hat-trick but compensated for his batting failure with the ball.
After Suryakumar’s 111 helped India post 191/6, the bowlers did an exceptional job to restrict the hosts to 126. Hooda was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 4 for 10 in 2.5 overs. Former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel heaped massive praise on Hooda for his outstanding spell and also lauded stand-in captain Hardik Pandya for showing faith in the all-rounder.
“If someone has the ability to bowl, the only way you can find it out is by giving him those overs in international games. That’s exactly what Hardik Pandya did with Hooda. We know that Hooda got into the World Cup squad because of his ability to bowl. But he did not bowl in the single game that he played,” Parthiv told Cricbuzz.
“It was not needed, but you’ve got to give him some overs to see whether he is good enough to give you those couple of overs or at least one over. They are thinking aggressive, thinking wickets. This is something that is so important in the T20 format. It’s great to see we are going ahead, thinking ahead,” he added.
After the series opener in Wellington was washed out due to rain, India won the second game in Mount Maunganui by 65 runs to take a 1-0 lead. Besides Hooda, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj claimed two wickets each. The two teams will play the final T20I of the series on Tuesday in Napier.