Former keeper-batter Parthiv Patel has backed Team India’s move to try part-time off-spinner Deepak Hooda as the sixth bowling option in the second T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on Sunday, November 20. Patel pointed out that the only way India can find out if he is good enough for the role is by giving him a few overs in international matches.
Hooda registered impressive figures of 4/10 in 2.5 overs in the T20I against the Kiwis on Sunday. Three of his four scalps were of tail-enders, which came in the 19th over of New Zealand’s chase.
While admitting that too much cannot be read into his wickets, Patel lauded skipper Hardik Pandya for giving Hooda the opportunity to make a mark. Speaking during a discussion on Cricbuzz, the former India stumper said:
“If someone has the ability to bowl, the only way you can find it out is by giving him those overs in international games. That’s exactly what Hardik Pandya did with Hooda.
“We know that Hooda got into the World Cup squad because of his ability to bowl. But he did not bowl in the single game that he played. It was not needed, but you’ve got to give him some overs to see whether he is good enough to give you those couple of overs or at least one over.”
The 37-year-old further opined that the Indian think tank seems to be on the right path with regard to their bowling plans. He elaborated:
“They are thinking aggressive, thinking wickets. This is something which is so important in T20 format. It’s great to see we are going ahead, thinking ahead.”
Earlier, Hooda was dismissed without scoring and perished for a golden duck. This was his second consecutive score of 0. He was the second wicket to fall in Tim Southee’s last-over hat-trick.
“Would like to see Umran Malik having a go at New Zealand batters” – Patel suggests change for 3rd T20I
Having taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Team India will be keen to wrap up the rubber by winning the third game in Napier on Tuesday, November 22.
Asked if he would like to see any changes in the Men in Blue playing XI for the next match, Patel responded:
“I would like to see Umran Malik having a go at New Zealand batters. They are a quality side. The other question is – do you see Bhuvneshwar Kumar playing the 2024 T20 World Cup? If you are trying to build a team for that World Cup, this is a right step – Umran getting a game.”
Bhuvneshwar, who was preferred over Umran in the playing XI for Sunday’s encounter, impressed with figures of 1/12 from three overs. Umran has played three T20Is for India, claiming two wickets at an average of 56 and an economy rate of 12.44.