Hooda shines at top of order with maiden T20I hundred

Riding on his powerful striking ability, No.3 Hooda smashed 104 off just 57 balls in the second T20I against Ireland here on Tuesday and became only the fourth man from India to hit an international hundred in the shortest format.
Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda

MALAHIDE: Deepak Hooda considered himself “a warrior” when he faced the task of tackling the new ball in conditions favourable to bowlers.

According to him, there was no option but to face the challenges head on when batting at the top of the order. Riding on his powerful striking ability, No.3 Hooda smashed 104 off just 57 balls in the second T20I against Ireland here on Tuesday and became only the fourth man from India to hit an international hundred in the shortest format.

“I have never opened in an international match before (he did so in the first T20I). But being a top-order batter, you have to cope up challenges and you do not have any option. When you do not have any option, why don’t you go there (to the middle) like a warrior? That is how I think and things turned in my way. I am happy about that,” said Hooda.

Walking in following the dismissal of opener Ishan Kishan in the third over, Hooda smashed nine fours and six maximums en route to his maiden T20I ton. “To be honest, the Irish team played really well against us. We enjoyed playing against it,” said Hooda.

“Between the first and the second match, I think that there was a difference in the pitch. In the first match, the conditions were overcast and the wicket was damp. But, today (on Tuesday), the wicket was very good for batting, as is clear by the way both teams batted. So, I felt that the wicket was a huge factor,” Hooda explained.

Hooda revealed that a change in mindset has helped him perform better. “Being a cricketer, what I have learnt lately is that one should not think too far ahead. Irrespective of how many series there are, look at one match at a time. If my work ethic is good, I am going to be in a good space of mind and I am going to score runs. That is how I think,” said Hooda.

“If I keep it simple, live in the present and play the situation well, the outcome (result) will automatically come. Now or later, it will come.”

With plenty of competition for places, Hooda admitted that it is difficult to get into the India team and retain one’s place. “But at the same time, when you are playing in India colours, you do not think about yourself. You think about the team. That is what I think about when I am in the middle – how can I contribute to the team in that situation. I do not think more than that. I try to keep things simple,” said the 27-year-old all-rounder.

BRIEF SCORES: India 225/7 in 20 overs (D Hooda 104, S Samson 77, M Adair 3/42) bt Ireland 221/5 in 20 overs (A Balbirnie 60, P Stirling 40)

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