IPL 2021: Deepak Hooda lights up Wankhede with 28-ball 64 vs Royals

Hooda had a rocky build up to this year's IPL. On the eve of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Hooda had left the Baroda squad after accusing state captain Krunal Pandya of "bullying" and using abusive language.

Deepak Hooda slammed a quickfire fifty in IPL 2021.   -  BCCI/IPL

Kings XI Punjab batsman Deepak Hooda, playing his first match of the season, put on a brutal exhibition of power-hitting in the IPL encounter against Rajasthan Royals on Monday. Hooda slammed a 28-ball 64 with four fours and six sixes. He was eventually dismissed by Chris Morris, who had him caught by Riyan Parag.

Hooda was particularly severe on Shreyas Gopal, collecting three sixes off the leggie in the 14th over. He batted at No. 4 against the Royals, ahead of the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Shahrukh Khan.

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"I was just reacting to the ball and showing aggressive intent in my batting," said Hooda during the innings break. "There was no dew, the ball is holding up on the wicket for a bit. The score is quite good, and we should be able to defend it."

Hooda had a rocky build-up to this year's IPL. On the eve of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Hooda had left the Baroda squad after accusing state captain Krunal Pandya of "bullying". He was eventually suspended for the rest of the domestic season on grounds of "indiscipline."

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