Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer supported a star player on Friday ahead of the 1st T20I between India and New Zealand. Team India take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in their first away trip after a bittersweet campaign in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup. India and New Zealand made it to the semifinals of the ICC event in Australia.
As Babar Azam’s Pakistan crushed New Zealand, the Rohit Sharma-led side were outplayed by eventual champions England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. India will miss the services of all-format captain Rohit Sharma, vice-captain KL Rahul and ex-skipper Virat Kohli in the away matches against New Zealand. Former Indian batsman Wasim Jaffer shares his thoughts on India’s potentially playing XI for the series opener and has opted to throw his weight behind all-rounder Deepak Hooda.
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“I chose Hooda because he was on the World Cup squad. Obviously you want to favor the guy who was on the team and played only one game. If you pick another team and he doesn’t fit in, then it’s not sending the right message,” Jaffer said ESPNCricinfo. Hardik Pandya led Team India will take on the Black Caps in the 1st T20I at Sky Stadium.
Highlighting Hooda’s batting performance in the Irish T20Is, Jaffer claimed the Indian all-rounder can also score with a pair of overs in Friday’s 20-over match. “Hooda can also give you overs with the ball. He scored a century against Ireland in the top order, but then there’s no room. No. 4 and No. 5 are sealed by Surya and Hardik. So the only place I see for Hooda is at number 6,” Jaffer added.
Hooda has played 13 T20Is for Team India. The 27-year-old made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka at Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium earlier this year. With a record-breaking ton to his name, the star all-rounder has scored 293 points for the 2007 champions in the shortest format.
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