'India need somebody like him' - Sanjay Manjrekar backs Deepak Hooda to feature in Ireland T20Is

‘India need somebody like him’ – Sanjay Manjrekar backs Deepak Hooda to feature in Ireland T20Is

Deepak Hooda was one of the most consistent performers in IPL 2022.

Sanjay Manjrekar and Deepak Hooda
Sanjay Manjrekar and Deepak Hooda (Photo Source: Twitter)

India will be heading to Ireland for a two-match T20I series commencing on 26th June, Sunday. The Indian team will be without some of its regulars, and they will look to give chances to some of the fringe players. Deepak Hooda is likely to feature for the Men in Blue in the upcoming series, and former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has backed the all-rounder to come good for the national side.

Hooda had a brilliant campaign in IPL 2022 and was one of the major driving forces behind his Lucknow Super Giants’ run through to the playoffs this year. The middle-order batter often played the role of the aggressor as skipper KL Rahul dropped anchor in the middle overs. The right-handed batter finished the season with impressive 451 runs to his name with four half-centuries.

The all-rounder is pretty handy with the ball as well and can chip in with some crucial wickets. Meanwhile, Manjrekar believes that this is the perfect time for Hooda to come back to the national side after missing out in the series against South Africa. Manjrekar said that the batter has shown everyone his abilities in IPL 2022 and has matured a lot.

Deepak Hooda came of age in IPL 2022: Sanjay Manjrekar

“I am expecting him to get a look in this (Ireland) series because I thought we saw the best of Deepak Hooda in this last IPL. He has been around for a long time, and you have seen sporadic displays of his work and his ability. The last IPL, he came of age,” he said on a Sony Sports show.

India struggled for runs from the middle order in the previous series against South Africa as both Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant were disappointing with their lacklustre performances. The arrival of the Lucknow Super Giants man in India’s middle-order batting can take pressure off the likes of Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, who did the bulk of scoring in the latter stages of the game.

“India needs somebody like him down the order. It’s a very difficult job, and Hooda did a terrific job in the IPL. He is somebody that India will, I am sure, look at,” Manjrekar added.