Dinesh Karthik wants the team management to give all-rounder Deepak Hooda an opportunity to bat at No.3. The statement came ahead of India vs New Zealand's second T20I match in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29. The veteran feels that the all-rounder is looking under pressure as a middle-order batter.
Chasing 177 in the first T20I against New Zealand, Hooda came in when the hosts were 89/5 in the 13th over. He was stumped by wicketkeeper Devon Conway off Mitchell Santner's bowling for 10 runs off as many balls. Team India lost the game by 21 runs.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Karthik said:
“It will definitely be Deepak Hooda who’ll be batting at 6. If ever he’s under pressure, they should give him that opportunity at 3 before they decide to move on from him because he’s done so well at 3 that he deserves those opportunities.”
So far, Hooda has scored 64 runs in four T20Is this year, including an unbeaten 41 in the first T20I against Sri Lanka. Last year, he amassed 302 runs in 15 games at an average of 150.25, including a century at No.3.
Interestingly, the 27-year-old averages 49 at No. 3. His scores read 104, 33, 21, and 38 in four opportunities.
“Create an inning where he changes the tone of the game” – Dinesh Karthik on Deepak Hooda
Karthik wants Deepak Hooda to play impactful knocks in the remaining two T20Is against New Zealand to keep his place in the team.
“What you can do consistently at No. 6 is cause an impact. Even if you’ve played eight balls, six balls. Deepak Hooda can be consistent if he can create an impact every time he walks into bat. That’s what he should be aiming to do. Create an inning where he changes the tone of the game. That’s something a middle-order batter can do.”
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma is waiting in the wings to replace Hooda in the T20Is.
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