All-rounder Deepak Hooda, who earned his maiden India call-up when the team for the T20 series against Sri Lanka was announced, says he has learned a lot from senior pro-Yuvraj Singh. The 22-year-old Hooda, who captains Baroda in the domestic circuit, has amassed 2,208 runs in 31 first-class matches. He has played against Yuvraj in domestic tournaments and shared the dressing room with the veteran left-handed batsman at Sunrisers Hyderabad.
"Look, you get a lot to learn from Yuvi Paa (Yuvraj Singh). All the way, he used to tell me how (how to play), how to bat at different situations, he always spoke about my strengths, told me about my weaknesses, how to react to a bowler, how to take the team ahead," the Rohtak-born Hooda told PTI.
"Yuvi Paa is a role model for me. And in the two years, I have learned a lot from him and will apply them," he quipped.
Interestingly, in a Ranji Trophy game last year, Hooda has scored 293 against a Yuvraj-led Punjab side. And in the same match, Yuvraj too had hit a double hundred.
Hooda's joy knew no bounds when he got the news about his selection in the national team, and the budding all-rounder is looking to learn from the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma.
"My feeling (at the moment) is very good. It is a dream come true for my family. I am feeling good," he added.
"I will try and learn maximum things (after being with the team). I will observe how Dhoni bhai (MS Dhoni), Rohit bhai (Rohit Sharma), and all other players react (to situations), and that will be a learning," he added.
Hooda, who was part of the India A team that played against New Zealand A, also felt that being an all-rounder helps him.
"Yes, I being an all-rounder will obviously benefit me. I am an all-rounder and presently doing both the things (batting and bowling) good. I am feeling confident about my batting and bowling. I will give my 110 percent," said the right-arm off-break bowler and right-handed batsman.
He "idolises" former English cricketer Kevin Peterson.
"To be honest, I very much admire Kevin Peterson. When I have started watching cricket, I admired Peterson, for the way he played," Hooda signed off.
(With PTI Inputs)