Hooda was part of the Punjab Kings (PBKS) over the last couple of seasons of the IPL but was not retained by the franchise ahead of the upcoming mega auction. With the all-rounder being selected in Team India's ODI squad for the series against West Indies, he could be one of the sought-after players at the auction.
During a discussion on India News, Deepak Hooda was asked if he has any preferred team in the IPL. While observing that he is more looking forward to the West Indies ODIs, he did pick CSK as his favorite IPL side. He reasoned:
"There is nothing like that. As of now, Deepak is not waiting for the auction on the 12th and 13th, he is just waiting for the 6th. There is no team as such, I just want to play. But my personal favorite team is the Chennai Super Kings. I am like a kid who wants to play under MS Dhoni."
The spin-bowling all-rounder added that he has had multiple interactions with Dhoni over the last few years. Deepak Hooda elaborated:
"I am MS Dhoni's die-hard fan, I like his leadership as well. I have spoken to him many times. When I had come to the Indian team earlier as well, Dhoni bhai was also there. Then also I used to talk to him and after that, whenever we have met we have spoken."
Hooda was selected in Team India's T20I squad a couple of times earlier but did not get to play a game. He will hope to make his international debut in the ODI series against West Indies.
"I got to learn a lot from Anil Kumble" - Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda was also asked about his learnings while playing under Anil Kumble for the Punjab Kings. He responded:
"I got to learn a lot from Anil Kumble over the last two years. He is himself a legend, he has 1000 international wickets. Obviously, even if you talk a sentence or word with him, it is a learning for you. I was able to handle pressure better because Anil Sir was there."
The 26-year-old was particularly pleased with the faith Kumble and the rest of the Punjab Kings management showed in him. Deepak Hooda explained:
"I matured a lot in the last two years. I was in the midst of very good people, Anil Sir is one among them, who improved me mentally as well as my game. I had gone after having not played domestic cricket but still played the first game in the IPL. The way he used to explain my role, I used to be extremely clear."
Hooda aggregated 261 runs in the 19 matches he played for the Punjab Kings in the last two seasons of the IPL. He struck a couple of half-centuries for the franchise with a top score of 64.
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