India vs Ireland, IRE vs IND
India vs Ireland (Credits: Getty)

Indian batter Deepak Hooda had to shoulder the responsibility of opening the innings in the first T20I against Ireland and he did it with ease on Sunday.

Chasing down 109 in 12 overs, Ishan Kishan and Hooda provided a great start, with the former doing the damage. Suryakumar Yadav perished first ball on his return but Hardik Pandya then stuck around with Hooda to build the match-winning partnership.

India's Ishan Kishan., PC-BCCI
India’s Ishan Kishan., PC-BCCI

It was a blessed partnership with Hardik. The wicket was playing really well and that quick partnership really helped us get ahead in the game. [I] Wasn’t thinking to finish the game with a four or six, focus was just to win the game,” Hooda said on BCCI’s “Chahal TV” with leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

“The way Ishan started helped me take some time” – Deepak Hooda

Hooda was slow to get off the blocks but Kishan at the other end ensured that the scoreboard kept ticking. It was very crucial and Hooda ended up taking his time before coming into his own.

Deepak Hooda-Dinesh Karthik India vs Ireland
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

I was nervous at the beginning (while opening) but in the end, it’s a challenge and I was ready to face everything. The way Ishan started helped me take some time to ease on. So that was my only plan and I have batted in the IPL in the opening 2-3 overs so I was ready,” he added.

Eventually, it was Hooda, in the company of Dinesh Karthik, finishing off the game with over two overs to spare. Hooda ended the innings on 47, with 6 fours and two maximums.

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