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KXIP's Deepak Hooda recalls transition from wicketkeeper to hard-hitting all-rounder

Deepak Hooda in action for SRH
Deepak Hooda in action for SRH
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 20 Apr 2020
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Kings XI Punjab's latest signing, batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda revealed his journey from being a wicketkeeper to becoming one of India's most talented hard-hitting all-rounders.

In an article on KXIP's official website, Deepak Hooda spoke about how he initially donned the gloves to make his school team despite aiming to slot into the all-rounders' role.

“I enjoyed bowling even in my early cricketing days, but when I started playing club cricket my coach made me a wicketkeeper-batsman. The first two years of my cricket career I played as a ‘keeper-batsman,” Deepak Hooda said.

The all-rounder claims that he took up the job of keeping wickets since there was no specialist wicketkeeper in his school senior team. However, the physical demands that came with the role got to him and soon, his knees started to hurt.

The youngster's inclination to get back to being an all-rounder saw him work a lot harder on his batting skill. Eventually, his hard work paid off as he was selected to play the district level after making a mark as a useful off-spinner and a hard-hitting batsman at a club in Gurgaon.

Deepak Hooda's efforts pay off

Deepak Hooda has played for Baroda [PC: NDTV]
Deepak Hooda has played for Baroda [PC: NDTV]

The Rohtak-born all-rounder recollects the turning point in his career, when his talent was recognised by one of his coaches from Delhi.

“During one of those district level games, my coach from Delhi saw me and recognised my potential as an all-rounder. Following that, I was able to forgo keeping and focus on my all-round skills,” Deepak Hooda added.

The all-rounder first made a major mark when he was picked for India's 2014 ICC Under-19 World Cup squad and since then, he has played for the SunRisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

With over 5,000 runs from across formats in the domestic circuit, Deepak Hooda has made quite a name for himself. The all-rounder will turn out for KXIP in IPL 2020, with his services being procured fora sum of ₹50 lakh by the franchise in the IPL 2020 player auctions that were held in December last year.

Published 20 Apr 2020, 10:39 IST
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