All-rounder Deepak Hooda, who received his maiden India call-up for the ODI series against West Indies, opened up on his equation with the Pathan brothers — Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan — and how the duo supported him during his tough phase of life.
Hooda did well for Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well as the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The all-rounder earlier was part of India’s squad for the Nidhas Trophy 2018 but he didn’t get the chance to make his international debut there.
“People wondered and doubts crept in pretty often, but Irfan Bhai always told me one line, Apna time aayega,” Hooda was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), D Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 26, 2022
The 26-year-old said that he is very close to the Pathan brothers.
“I slowly got close to Irfan Bhai and Yusuf (Pathan) Bhai. They taught me to be calm, they made me realise the power of calmness. As a youngster, it was natural to be restless and I was no exception. It was hampering my game. At times, I tried too hard. Tried to overdo things that weren’t needed,” Hooda added.
Hooda further recalled how Irfan taught him the importance of preparation and process.
“I remember Irfan Bhai telling me the importance of preparation and process. Doing the same thing over and over again, without expecting anything from anyone. So, be it the gym sessions, training at the nets and following a strict diet, I always maintained a good work ethic. It paid off,” Hooda further said.
“I saw the ups and downs and then everyone knew what happened in Baroda. I moved to another state last year. It was a new journey but Rajasthan welcomed me. All the hard work has paid off.”
“I didn’t get an answer initially, why I was picked and why I was dropped. It was a challenging time. I wanted to know why I was not picked. I became desperate, desperate to be picked again and just wanted to be in the team,” said Hooda.
“I would also like to thank Anil Bhai, because Punjab Kings gave me a chance in two IPL seasons, people there saw that I still had something in me. I always backed myself. I always believed Try, try until your last breath,” Hooda added.