“A year ago, he wasn’t sure if India cap would ever come for him,” Irfan Pathan reveals how hard work changed cricketing fortunes of Deepak Hooda

Pathan brothers, both Irfan and Yusuf, spent hours helping Hooda with his training and helping him enhance his off side game

Deepak Hooda might be going through a successful phase of his cricket career right now, but it wasn’t quite the case a year ago. The right-handed hard-hitting batsman had an altercation with his Baroda captain Krunal Pandya and had to leave the Baroda camp in between the domestic season.

Later, Baroda Cricket Association suspended Hooda, which put Hooda’s career in India’s domestic circuit in a bit of jeopardy. But, it was the Pathan brothers, Irfan and Yusuf, who came to Hooda’s rescue in the most difficult phase of his career.

Hooda’s IPL team Punjab Kings extended his contract too and Hooda, fortunately, found a domestic team in Rajasthan. Although Rajasthan Cricket Association was in slight turmoil because of administrative issues, they still gave Hooda an opportunity to play in domestic cricket.

However, Deepak Hooda wanted to work on his game, because he knew there was something missing in his game that was obstructing his India call-up.

Irfan Pathan recently spoke to ESPNcricinfo and revealed that he himself and Yusuf worked with Hooda for hours, helping him enhance his off-side game and they made him practice on all kinds of surfaces, the red soil, and black soil.

“Don’t expect anything in return, just work hard,” Irfan Pathan told Deepak Hooda

However, one thing that Irfan made absolutely clear to Hooda was that he shouldn’t work on his game expecting anything in return at all. Because if he has the mindset where he has expectations of an India call-up, he would get demoralized quickly. So, he should just work hard on his game with no expectations.

Irfan Pathan said that a year ago, Deepak Hooda didn’t even know if he would ever be able to play for India in his life, but things have turned around in such a way that within a year, he is now a part of India’s set-up in both ODI and T20I cricket and it’s all because of his hard work.


I write a bit on cricket and I am more interested in technical and tactical side of the game, rather than bravado.
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