Former Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha has opined that the new entrants Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) should stick with Indian batter Deepak Hooda at the number three spot. The right-handed batter played a wonderful knock of 59 runs against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their previous contest.
The Lucknow team management has tried several options at the number three spots including Evin Lewis, Ayush Badoni, and Manish Pandey. However, their plan did not work. LSG team management has also given Deepak Hooda a few chances to play at the number three position and he performed decently in those matches. “For me, Deepak Hooda is the ideal candidate for the number three spot because he was playing with a lot of clarity. Hooda was not looking to settle down [in the last game]. He wanted to score runs and dictate the game; that mindset is very important. LSG has some prominent top-order batters in the form of KL Rahul, and Quinton de Kock; you gave chances to Manish Pandey but it did not work so if you have found Deepak Hooda then you should continue with him,” Ojha said.
Talking about Hooda’s numbers in IPL, the right-handed batter has played a total of 94 games and has scored 1191 runs at a decent strike rate of 130.88. The 27-year-old has struck seven fifties in the tournament with his highest score being 64. With the ball, he has scalped a total of ten wickets in the toughest franchise-based cricket league. Meanwhile, LSG is playing against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their last group stage encounter of IPL 2022. The new entrants have piled up 210 runs in their allotted 20 overs with both openers de Kock (140 off 70 balls) and Rahul (68 off 51) punishing the two-time champions. KKR batters will need to play out of their skin to complete the chase and it will not come easy against the disciplined bowling line-up of LSG.