IND vs SL: Deepak Hooda spill beans on his role in team India after a defining knock in 1st T20I

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  • India defeated Sri Lanka in the thrilling first T20I by two runs.

  • Deepak Hooda was adjudged Player of the Match.

IND vs SL: Deepak Hooda spill beans on his role in team India after a defining knock in 1st T20I
Deepak Hooda at the post-match press conference (Screengrab: BCCI)

On Tuesday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India defeated Sri Lanka in a last-ball thriller, with Deepak Hooda scoring an unbeaten 41 off 23 balls and the debutant Shivam Mavi taking four wickets for 22 runs. Hooda came in to bat at the 6th position when India were 77/4 in the 11th over, and he, along with Axar Patel, read the game quite well, helping India set a fighting total of 163/5.

In his inning of 41 runs, Hooda smashed five boundaries, including four sixes. Speaking on his role as a finisher in the team, the 27-year-old said that at the position he batted, his only focus was to finish the game well and set a competitive target.

“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 in the post-match press conference.

“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.” he added.

Veteran Indian opener Gautam Gambhir in a discussion at Star Sports also lauded Hooda for his terrific innings under pressure and said, “This player has a lot of ability. I would like to see how the Indian team uses Deepak Hooda going ahead. Do you see him in the finisher’s role or do you play him in the top four? What has been evident till now is that Hardik Pandya wants to use him at No. 6 or No. 7.”

Notably, both Gambhir and Hooda are part of the Lucknow Supergiants (LSG) IPL Franchise, Gambhir as the mentor of the team and the latter as a player.

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Vishwanath Hariharan is a young journalist who's very fond of watching cricket. Like many others, he too grew up watching, playing, and imitating his favourite players of the game. MS Dhoni is like a demigod to him. You can connect with him at or and follow him on Twitter & Linkedin.