Rajasthan batter Deepak Hooda was ecstatic after receiving a call-up to the Indian national team for the ODI series against West Indies. The BCCI announced the squad for the series with Rohit Sharma returning to lead.
Hooda last represented India in 2017. He has been recalled after a wonderful outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22. He was also impactful with the bat for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL 2021 season. Hooda’s performances were finally rewarded when he was called up to the national team on Wednesday.
“It still hasn’t sunk in. The last year was certainly a roller-coaster, but with the help of Irfan Bhai (Irfan Pathan), Yusuf Bhai (Yusuf Pathan), and all the members of my family, I could overcome the odds and again dream big. It is difficult to describe the feeling in words, but for sure, this is one of the most rewarding moments,” he was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“Last year taught me you have to wait for your opportunity” – Deepak Hooda
It was only a matter of time before Hooda returned to the national team. He has been putting up good scores in the IPL and is also handy with the ball, something that none of the other Indian batters in the side can contribute with.
“It took me five years to get another opportunity. To be honest, ahead of every season, I thought that this time I would break into the team, but that never happened. But the last one year taught me that you have to wait for your opportunity,” Hooda added.
Notably, India continues to look for an all-rounder now that Hardik Pandya has started falling out of favor. He is recovering from an injury and Venkatesh Iyer is being groomed for the role. However, Iyer wasn’t named in the ODI squad and the selectors are probably looking at Hooda to fulfill the same role.