Deepak Hooda reacted to his inclusion in the ODI squad for the home series against the West Indies beginning on Febaruary 6, which came as a surprise to a lot of fans and a few cricket pundits. However, Hooda revealed that he always believes in the Mantra of “Apna Time Aayega” which was given to him by Irfan Pathan. Hooda opened up on the bond he shares with the Pathan brothers and how they helped him stay calm in a stage of his career where he was restless.
Irfan had told him that his time would come when he had queried why he was not considered for a place in the Indian team.
“People wondered and doubts crept in pretty often, but Irfan bhai always told me one line, ‘Apna time aayega’,” Hooda told The Indian Express in a recent interview.
“I slowly got close to Irfan bhai and Yusuf (Pathan) bhai. They taught me to be calm, they made me realise the power of calmness. As a youngster it was natural to be restless and I was no exception. It was hampering my game. At times, I tried too hard. Tried to overdo things that weren’t needed,” he added.
Team India's ODI Squad for series against West Indies.
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Hooda second-highest run-getter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22
It should be noted that Hooda was the second-highest run-getter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and ended up with 294 runs in 6 matches at an average of 73.50. In addition, his ability to bowl a few overs of spin makes him a handy option with the next ODI World Cup set to happen in India.
The 26-year-old who played a couple of great knocks for the Punjab Kings last season revealed that former all-rounder Irfan helped him realise the importance of preparation and process which in turn helped him maintain a good work ethic.
As far as Irfan is concerned, he was in great form in the inaugural season of the Legends League Cricket both with the ball and bat. While his contribution was enough to hand the India Maharajas a win in the team’s first match, he missed the other two games which the team lost and was brilliant in the final T20 fixture as he scored 56 runs from 21 balls but could not help his team cross the winning line.
The summit clash will be played between the World Giants and the Asia Lions.