All-rounder Deepak Hooda came up with a match-winning knock of 41 not out off 23 balls as India edged past Sri Lanka by two runs in their first T20I match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Hooda was adjudged the Player-of-the-match for his blistering knock which gave some respectability to the India total after Hardik Pandya’s side had slipped to 94 for 5 at one stage.
The the match was not without its explosive moments with Hooda losing his cool against the on-field umpire in the closing stages of India’s innings. The Lucknow Super Giants all-rounder was left frustrated on the fifth delivery of the 18th over when he left Kasun Rajitha’s delivery alone in hopes of getting a wide called. But the on-field umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan did not call it a wide as the batter had moved across his stumps.
Hooda then lost his cool at this decision and was heard and seen abusing ‘behen ke l***’, towards the umpire. He even got embroiled in an argument with the umpire after nicking a single off the very next delivery.
WATCH Deepak Hooda abusing the umpire HERE…
Deepak hooda just says behen k lode… ___#INDvSL @BCCI pic.twitter.com/SFcPK9AZIm— Indigo explain (@ExplainIndigo) January 3, 2023
Hooda top-scored with 41 while his partner Axar Patel remained unbeaten on 31 of 20 deliveries, dragging the hosts to 162/5 in their 20 overs. Their 68-run stand for the sixth wicket proved to be the turning point in the match as India went on to win the game by two runs.
Asked if there was pressure on him when he came in to bat during a crucial part of the innings with India having lost the top and middle order, Hooda said, “I was pretty clear in my mind that if we lose early wickets we have to build a partnership and when you are batting lower down the order at No.6, for a situation like that, being a cricketer, you have to be ready for that. A collapse can happen at any time.
“(But) I don’t think it was a collapse in the true sense as we were in a good position. Yes, we lost one or two extra wickets but I think that is the role of a No. 6 and no. 7 batter (to come and bat with confidence) be it the first or the second match. It’s a good win,” Hooda said at the post-match press conference.
Hooda feels he had to respect the situation and play accordingly but at the slot he is batting, more often than not he would need to be a good finisher. “The kind of wicket you get you have to play accordingly. You have to give a good total to the team and that was going through my mind being a batsman. Being a No.6 batter, if you are playing at that position, you have to finish the game. So, that was the only thing going on in my mind.”
(with PTI inputs)