Deepak Hooda, the Indian allrounder, bagged a four-for to his name in the second T20I played on November 20, Sunday and eventually helped India clinch an emphatic win by 65 runs against New Zealand. Prior to the start of the third T20I that ended in a tie on Tuesday, Hooda was asked if he wanted to bat at the top of the batting order.
The right-handed batter replied hesitantly that he would like to take the Number 3 spot and added that he cannot as it is occupied by the Indian superstar, Virat Kohli. However, Hooda admitted to getting used to batting lower down the order and added that he would like to carry on with the same.
“I would like to bat at 5, we have a legend playing at 3 and I have to be realistic, I can’t get that spot (smiles). It’s a problem at times to adapt to batting at 5 or 6, but I have done that role as I am a utility player and need to play according to the situation of the game,” Hooda was quoted as saying ahead of the match.
However, the former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, said that the allrounder must speak his mind without hesitating and added that he must play with the same mindset if he needs to be successful for the Men in Blue.
He should not hesitate: Mohammad Kaif
Saying that the allrounder must hope to become a great player, Kaif claimed that Hooda should play with a mindset where can he can express himself freely. Further, the former Indian cricketer added that the batter should speak without fear, if he needs to succeed.
“Woh thoda atak gaye the, unko atakna nahi hai, unko bolna hai ki mujhe upar khelna hai. I want to do well for India, mujhe khelna hai. KL Rahul k jagah ana hai mujhe, Virat Kohli ko replace karna hai. Unko bolna padega, woh waha darr gaye thoda. (He was a little stuck, he doesn’t have to get stuck, he has to say that I have to play up. He should say ‘I Want to do well for India, I want to play. Tomorrow I have to come in place of Rahul, I have to replace Virat Kohli.’ He will have to speak, he is a little scared),” Kaif was quoted as saying in the Prime Video.
Woh bol gaye top 3 nahi main neche hi theek hu. Unhe ghabrana nahi hai. Mujhe top three mein khelna hai, ye agar unki mansikta hogi toh hi unke liye faida hai. (He said, not top 3, I am fine at the bottom. They don’t have to worry. ‘I want to play in the top three’, if this is their mindset then only it is beneficial for them),” he added.
Ajit Agarkar, the former Indian pacer, seconded with Kaif and said that Hooda was not able to freely express his will to bat at Number 3. “Woh kehna chahte the ki mujhe teen number khelna hai but socha nahi rehne dete hai. (He wanted to say that ‘I’d want to bat at No.3 but wasn’t able to),” Agarkar said.