It was an unexpected treat for oneself and all present at the Malahide ground in Dublin when Deepak Hooda left to open with Ishan Kishan – rather than Ruturaj Gaikwad – on Sunday in the T20I opener against Ireland.
After the match, chief Hardik Pandya made sense of the explanation for the move. Hardik said that Gaikwad had a niggle in the calf and that was the explanation they didn’t believe he should open.
Hooda, then again, snatched his chance well as he hit a splendid 47 off 29 balls. His innings was bound with six fours and two sixes. Hooda found his musicality after a scratchy beginning and set up a coordinated winning 64-run stand with Hardik.
“Rutu had a niggle in his calf,” India captain Hardik Pandya said in his post-match press conference. “We had the choice of taking a risk and sending him in [to open], but I was not okay with it. A player’s well-being is more important, and [I thought] we’ll be able to manage what happens in the match.
“It was quite simple after that, there wasn’t much of a decision to make; whatever our [batting-order] numbers were, we all went up one spot, and it wasn’t a big headache. We wanted to make sure we weren’t taking any chances with Rutu.” Stated by Hardik Pandya.
While Hardik left subsequent to hitting three sixes, Hooda remained till the finish to raise a ruckus around town four.
It would be fascinating to check whether India roll out any improvements for the second T20I which happens on Tuesday.