A spinner is not expected to cause too much trouble to teams from the sub-continent, but Deepak Hooda, whose five-for was instrumental in the 40-run win over Pakistan, is not all that easy to play.
Hooda, who plays for Baroda, has always been a very accurate bowler according to his coach, former Baroda batsman Sanjiv Sawant. A bowler who concentrates on hitting a designated spot continuously, Hooda gets results. “He won’t turn the ball too much, but his accuracy ensures that batsmen have to play in certain areas. That allows him time to work on batsmen and he manages to extract spin and bounce suddenly, and that works for him,” says Sawant.
Giving nothing away
Despite being introduced early, in the 11th over, Hooda just went for 23 runs in his first eight overs for three wickets. Seventy per cent of his deliveries were concentrated in a tight channel around the good-length area, outside the off-stump. The son of a serving Air Force sergeant, Hooda says that he just wanted to bowl as many dot balls as possible.
“On this wicket, which was getting a little slow, I had to contain the batsmen at first. Once, I managed to do that, I started bowling slower through the air and also going wide of the crease to create some different angles,” he says. Hooda bowled 32 dot balls in his 10 overs, bowling to his field and preying on the batsmen’s urge to hit their way out of trouble.
Hooda, who played for Haryana in age-group cricket, seeks out India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, before every big tournament. “He has helped me with the mental aspect as well as with methods on working out batsmen and utilizing different conditions,” he says.