Deepak Hooda flourishes at No 3. Where does Manish Pandey go now?
- Deepak Hooda scored 52 off 34 ball vs Delhi Capitals on Sunday
- His half-century and skipper KL Rahul's 77 helped the Super Giants post 195/3
- "enjoy batting at No. 3," Hooda said
Lucknow Super Giants promoted Deepak Hooda to No 3 on against the Delhi Capitals on Saturday. The Baroda all-rounder repaid his side's trust in him with a brilliant 52 off 34 balls. His half-century and skipper KL Rahul's 77 off 51 balls helped the Super Giants post 195/3 in the first innings.
Manish Pandey, who has been out of the playing 11 since their game against the Punjab Kings last week, had to sit out of the Delhi game too. KL Rahul brought in K Gowtham into the side, giving them another spin option on the Wankhde, Stadium, Mumbai pitch.
Pandey was picked by the Lucknow Super Giants ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction for Rs 4.60. He started off batting at No 3. The 32-year-old has scored only 66 runs from six games up to this point and has a batting average of 14.67. His strike rate of 110 has hurt the team in the middle overs.
With Hooda batting well, even at No 3, and the likes of Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis and Ayush Badoni taking care of the middle order, Pandey is expected to be out for a long time.
"I bat at the top of the order in the domestic arena and I enjoy batting at No. 3. It's hot but we are used to it as we usually play under these conditions in domestic tournaments. It's a good wicket, but the slower ones are holding onto the wicket," Deepak Hooda said after the first innings vs DC.
He further added that a player needs to 'be flexible according to the team's requirements'.
"Batting in the top-order gives me the chance to make good contributions. We didn't talk about any particular target, but I played every ball with intent and took calculated risks."
Rahul and Hooda (52 of 34 balls) added 95 runs for the second wicket but more importantly nullified the DC spin threat, taking the duo of Kuldeep Yadav (0/29 in 3 overs), Lalit Yadav (0/16 in 1 over) and partially Axar Patel (0/25 in 4 overs) to the task.