Deepak Hooda has batted 13 times in his 16 T20Is so far. And the tall hitter has batted at six different positions so far. Irrespective of his batting position, he has excelled more often than not.
Batting at No. 6 during India’s first T20I against Sri Lanka, Hooda’s unbeaten 41 off just 23 balls turned out to be game-changing at the Wankhede Stadium. Not only did it gape India out of a hole, it also gave Hooda his second player of the match award in a short yet impressive international career so far.
The soft-spoken Hooda had no qualms in admitting adjusting to different batting positions, even in T20s, is challenging. “To be honest, it makes a lot of difference,” he said after India’s two-run win. “But you have to play the role assigned to you by the team management. Whatever suits the team best, one should be ready to play that role.”
Hooda said that despite his ever-altering batting position, he had role-clarity well before the start of the match.
“It was very clear that we had to build partnerships after we lost early wickets. You have to be ready for such situations when you’re batting in the lower order, at No. 6. There can be a collapse any time and it was not a collapse today as such, we were in a good position early on. But yes, that’s the role of a No. 6 or 7,” Hooda said.
“That’s what the game demands: that you play according to the wicket and post a decent total. That’s what I was thinking while batting as a No. 6 that I had to do the finisher’s job.”