‘Telling you as ex-chief selector. He’s a strong contender. What I like…’ | Cricket

Team India are yet to narrow down to their final 15 for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin in Australia later in October. The Rohit Sharma-led side remains in experimental mode as the team is currently part of the five-match T20I series against the West Indies. India currently leads the series 2-1 against the hosts with the final two matches slated to be played in Florida over the weekend. Also Read | ‘Maybe it’s not my time. Perhaps I lack something’: Star India cricketer on being left out of England, West Indies T20Is

And ahead of the team selection, every cricket expert and former cricketers placed their opinion on their perfect 15 for the World Cup and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, India’s former captain and ex-chief selector has backed 27-year-old India star as “strong contender” for the tournament.

Srikkanth has been all praise for all-rounder Deepak Hooda, who has been a revelation in T20 cricket over the last few months. Having proven his worth in IPL 2022 for Lucknow Supergiants power hitter, Hooda was immediately roped in by the Indian management after the tournament for the successive white-ball series where he has been impressive at the top of the order in the absence of big stars and has even scored a record ton in Ireland.

Speaking to Fan Code during the third T20I match between India and West Indies, Srikkanth confidently claimed Hooda as a very strong contender for the final 15 for the T20 World Cup. He admitted that he loved Hooda’s ability to bat with freedom and also hailed the 27-year-old as an “intelligent bowler”.

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“Deepak Hooda is a strong contender for the T20 World Cup. I am telling you today as the former chairman of the selection committee. I am absolutely sure he will be in the final 15 for the World Cup in Australia. I don’t go by numbers. Can Hooda deliver in Australia in the World Cup in Melbourne? Yes. How much? 60-40. What I like about him is guts. I like guys who play with freedom. And he is also a very good bowler. He is an intelligent bowler. He is a strong, strong contender for the final 15,” he said.

India will be playing their fourth T20I against West Indies on Saturday and final match of the series on Sunday in Lauderhill, Florida.

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