Team India started the new year with a win. India beat Sri Lanka by 2 runs in the first T20 played in Mumbai. However, in the last over, the result of the match could have gone in favor of either team. But, Akshar Patel did not lose courage even in difficult circumstances and made India win. Deepak Hooda also played an important role in this victory. If he had not played an unbeaten inning of 41 runs in 23 balls coming at number six, then the result of the match would have been different. After this, he also showed agility in fielding and Hooda had a hand in the last two batsmen run out of Sri Lanka.
That is, along with the bat, Hooda was also useful in fielding and the team got another match-winning player.
When Deepak came out to bat in the first T20, India had lost 4 wickets at the score of 77 runs in 11 overs. The Sri Lankan spinners were looking completely dominant. In particular, Sri Lankan mystery spinner Mahish Tishkhana was the most troubled. The result of his tight bowling was that Indian batsmen played such shots in an attempt to score runs against other bowlers that they lost their wickets.
Out of 11 overs, Sri Lankan spin bowlers bowled a total of 5 overs. In this, he had given only 22 runs and 3 out of 4 wickets came in the spin bowlers only. In such a situation, the path was looking difficult for India. Hooda also did not have a good start. He narrowly escaped being stumped on the very first ball. Hooda played the next few overs carefully. India also lost the wicket of Hardik Pandya in the 15th over. After this over, India’s score was 101 runs at the loss of 5 wickets. Akshar Patel had come to the crease as Hooda’s partner. In such a situation, even 150 runs were looking difficult to score.
Hooda hit two consecutive sixes off Tikshna’s ball
Mahish Tikshna came to bowl his fourth and last over. Earlier, he had given only 12 runs in three overs. Only 4 runs came off the first 3 balls of Tikshna. Hooda was on strike on the fourth ball. This ball was a little short. Hooda was waiting for this opportunity. He hit a six straight over midwicket. Earlier, Hooda had played 9 balls and not a single boundary had come. But, he opened the account with a six and on the next ball too, Hooda hit another six in the same direction.
That is, the bowler who had made Team India yearn for one run till now. Hooda hit two consecutive sixes off his own ball. After these two sixes, the trend of the match was completely reversed and after the end of this over, India’s run rate increased from 6.73 to 7.37. 17 runs came in this over of Tikshna.
In T20 you have to keep thinking positive: Hooda
After the match, Hooda said about this over of Tikshna, ‘It was the last over of the Sri Lankan spinner and he bowled a weak ball and in T20 you always have to keep your thinking positive. As soon as the ball is found weak, it has to be hit. I did the same thing. Me and Akshar had thought that now is the right time to take an aggressive stand against the Sri Lankan bowlers and that is what we did in the last 5 overs.
India hit 61 runs in the last 30 balls and did not lose a single wicket. After Tikshna, Hooda and Akshar adopted the same strategy against Vanindu Hasaranga, which worked. Where the rest of the Indian batsmen scored 31 runs in 41 balls against the Sri Lankan spinner, which included a four. At the same time, Hooda alone hit 26 runs in 13 balls. This includes three sixes. Hooda shared a 35-ball 68-run partnership with Akshar to take India to a score of 162.
Hooda knows what is his role at number-6 and what he has to do in such a situation. He said after the match, ‘It was very clear that after losing the early wickets, we had to build a partnership. When you are batting at number 6 down the order, you have to be prepared for such situations. Wickets can fall at any time. And at number-6 or 7, the team expects you to finish the match.