With all eyes on India’s tour of South Africa, the national team selectors have shown interest in youngsters for the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Thus giving a chance to Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar and Basil Thampi, who have made their performances in the domestic circuit count. In an exclusive interaction with Indianexpress.com, Deepak Hooda said receiving the national call would be etched in his memory forever. “The excitement level is very high as getting a chance to represent the country is nothing less than a dream come true for me and my family. Wearing the Indian jersey is something I have been waiting for.”
“I believe, it was my performance for India A which has been awarded now,” Deepak said. Included in India A team for the one-dayers against New Zealand, Hooda scored a half-century and an unbeaten 35, coupled with two wickets. On his return to the first-class cricket for Baroda, state selectors showed faith in him and named him the captain in a bid to look for better results. In response, Deepak repaid them with three consecutive fifty-plus scores.
Deepak, who bats at number four, is open to batting at any position and is also looking forward to contributing with the ball. “Right now, I don’t have any expectations for batting at a certain position. Instead of contributing to team’s success will be my priority.” Having already shared the dressing room with some international players during IPL, Deepak feels getting a chance to share the dressing room with seniors like MS Dhoni gives him an opportunity to enhance his game. “IPL’s experience will come handy and whatever I can learn from seniors here will be a bonus for me. To succeed at this level, I am looking to get vital inputs from seniors and coaches.”
The 22-year old has got ample support from his father Jagbir. Hopeful that his son might soon be seen donning the India jersey, an emotional father credited the state association for believing in his son’s abilities. “He began his career here (in Baroda) and has been associated with the same team ever since. Hence, I credit the Baroda Cricket Association for his achievement and thank them for their continuous support.”Jagbir said, “We see him work upon his game and fitness, I would just pray that he goes from strength to strength and makes it count.”
Squad: Rohit Sharma(C), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Basil Thampi, Jaydev Unadkat