"For me, Deepak Hooda is currently the biggest match-winner in the Indian white-ball team. He is turning out to be an incredible addition to the team and believes that he can contribute as an all-rounder. He is bowling with same confidence as he did in the IPL and is keen on getting better," Karim said during an interview with India News.
Hooda is one of the most consistent players on Team India. He delivered an excellent performance in the second T20I against Ireland. He became the fourth Indian batter in history to surpass the 100-run mark in the shortest format of cricket. In doing so, he joined the ranks of elites such as Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suresh Raina.
During the match against West Indies, Hooda claimed 1/42 in 9, which included the wicket of opener Kyle Mayers. He scored 33 off 36 balls and put on 51 runs for the fifth wicket with Axar Patel, who hit a match-winning 64 not out off 35 balls.
As a batsman, Hooda has scored 205 runs in six games, which includes a century and a strike rate of 172.26.
Karim is not the only one who thinks highly of Hooda. Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan said Hooda could go a long way in his career.
“Two years ago, Hooda himself wondered if the India cap would come. Today, he is a shining example of someone who has proved if you accept your shortcomings and make a conscious effort in working on them, that’s half the battle won,” Pathan told ESPNcricinfo.