Deepak Hooda, whose 15-ball 30 gave Rajasthan Royals the crucial late-order thrust in their 26-run win against Kings XI Punjab, has said he hit what he thought was in his range. Along with James Faulkner, he put on 51 runs to put Royals back on track after they were 75 for 5.
"The only thing we were talking about was that if the ball is in our range then we will hit it," Hooda told iplt20.com. "If not then we will take ones and twos and keep rotating the strike. So I kept playing my normal game. So what I thought was in my range, I hit it."
When asked about what he would take away from the game, Hooda said, "Positive attitude and now I will not get nervous. When I went in to bat I was nervous a bit. (Mitchell) Johnson was bowling, but then (later on) I was okay."
Hooda, who was picked up by Royals for Rs 40 lakh in 2014, didn't play a single game last year. He was informed of his debut a day before the match. "Yesterday, after practice I came to know that I would be playing today. Paddy Upton and Rahul (Dravid) sir came and told me that. So I was very excited to play. Last season I was on the bench. So I was also eagerly waiting to play."
Confident I can work the ball both ways - Anureet
Anureet Singh was the most successful Kings XI Punjab bowlers against Rajasthan Royals, finishing with figures of 3 for 23.
Anureet said he was aware Ajinkya Rahane would try to attack him first up. "It is often said about me that I bowl the inswingers well, but I also try to bowl the away going delivery to a right-handed batsman," Anureet told iplt20.com. "I have practised that and now I am confident that I can work the ball both ways. I had an idea that he (Rahane) would try and attack me a bit because I am playing against him for the first time. So I stuck to my basics and I got him out."
Anureet gave away only four runs in the last over of Royals' innings and picked up Faulkner's wicket. "If I am bowling in the death overs then I have practised bowling round the wicket. I don't try two-three things at the same time. In death overs, try and bowl your best ball, what you have practised. If it is his day, it can so happen that the batsman might hit you even then. But if your basics are strong and if you bowl your best ball, then you are less likely to get hit."
He, however, conceded that it "wasn't a wicket for 160-odd runs", and Kings XI should have restricted them for fewer runs.