It was a moment of celebration for the Baroda-based all-rounder Deepak Hooda as he received his maiden call-up in India’s ODI squad for the West Indies series. Deepak Hooda opened up about how the Pathan brothers – Irfan and Yusuf – played a huge role in his career and how Irfan motivated him to stay patient as far as the national call was concerned.
Before he got a surprise call-up in India’s ODI squad for the upcoming 3-match series against West Indies, he was a part of India’s squad for the Nidhas Trophy 2018 but he didn’t get the chance to make his international debut there.
Talking to the Indian Express, Deepak Hooda revealed how he discussed the same with Irfan Pathan and asked him why he wasn’t getting to play for the country. Responding to this, the star all-rounder replied by saying that he needs to be patient and his time will come. He said:
“People wondered and doubts crept in pretty often, but Irfan bhai always told me one line, ‘Apna time aayega’,”
He further revealed how the Pathan brothers always made him understand the importance of staying calm and why it was needed for him to stay focused. He said:
“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,”
Further, Hooda also revealed how Irfan Pathan helped him in his training and preparation. He said:
“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,”
Meanwhile, Deepak Hooda, who recently shifted his base in domestic cricket from Baroda to Rajasthan, had a fabulous season in the just-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2021 scoring 294 runs in 6 matches at an average of 73.50. His stunning performances continued in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League, where he played some quickfire knocks for Punjab Kings.