Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals are playing their first match of the tournament at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai and got a brilliant batting display from all of their batsmen except Nicholas Pooran, who went out for duck.
Meanwhile, the show was all dedicated to Deepak Hooda, who slammed a brilliant 20-ball half-century which included an amazing no-look six off Chris Morris.
This match is the first encounter for both these teams and a big occasion for Sanju Samson, who made his captaincy debut for Rajasthan Royals as their full-time captain for IPL 2021 season, replacing Steve Smith who led them in IPL 2020, where they ended on 8th spot in the points table.
The match started with Samson winning the toss and and choosing to bat on a typical Wankhede pitch. Mayank Agarwal fell early for 14 runs giving Chetan Sakariya his first IPL wicket and an amazing send-off as well.
Then Chris Gayle and KL Rahul smashed the RR bowlers to add 67 runs in 7 overs. Chris Gayle was looking set for a big one and RR fielding was making sure he continues to hit big shots, giving him a life as well. Rahul, on the other end, was looking as elegant as ever, holding one end up, but scoring at a brisk pace.
Gayle, finally got dismissed by Riyan Parag for 40 off 28 balls, in which he completed 350 sixes in the Indian Premier League tournament, the first man to do so in the history of the league. While RR had thought that the worse was over, in walked Deepak Hooda, a man who had a lot to prove.
Actually, Deepak Hooda, who plays for Baroda in domestic cricket was involved in a bitter war with Krunal Pandya and Baroda Cricket Association which led him to leave the Vijay Hazare Trophy on the eve of his team’s first match. The BCA then suspended him for his actions and also complained to the BCCI and his IPL franchise the Punjab Kings on his behavior.
However, Hooda seemed to conjure every bit of that angst and anger and took it out on Rajasthan bowlers. He came in hot and started slamming sixes right, left, and center. On his way to an amazing fifty, which came off in just 20 balls, which had, till then, 6 sixes to his name.
Hooda’s name started trending on Twitter after his stunning knock. However, it wasn’t just Hooda who was trending on the micro-blogging site. In fact, the name of Krunal Pandya started trending on Twitter. Several reactions poured in as fans trolled the southpaw after Hooda’s exploits. Here’s a look at a few reactions.
Deepak Hooda & Krunal Pandya Fallout
Hooda was slated to be a vital cog for the Baroda team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. However, the player quit his team ahead of the competition after alleging that he was ‘bullied‘ by captain Krunal Pandya.
Hooda, who has played 46 first-class matches, was miffed at the behaviour of Pandya, who has represented India and sent an e-mail to the cricket body.
“At this moment, I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandya is using abusing language to me in front of my teammates and also other state teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara,” Hooda wrote in the letter to BCA.
“Today I was practising in nets and doing my preparation for tomorrow’s game with the permission of head coach Mr Prabhakar. Then Krunal came in nets (and) started misbehaving with me,” alleged Hooda. Hooda was reprimanded by the BCA for his actions and the Deepak Hooda Krunal Pandya fallout made headlines earlier this year.