There was some criticism over the decision to pick Iyer ahead of Hooda in the first T20I against the West Indies on Friday (July 29). The voices gained strength after the former was dismissed for a duck.
Previewing the second T20I to be played at St Kitts on Monday (August 1), Karim shared his views on the Iyer vs Hooda debate, telling India News:
“It is a difficult choice. In the home series against South Africa, Shreyas Iyer batted at No.3-4. I feel Shreyas Iyer is ahead of Deepak Hooda in the pecking order. That’s why he was drafted into the playing XI as soon as he returned to the T20 squad. That being the case, he will have to be given a few more chances in the upcoming games.”
“One has to remember that Shreyas has shown good form in ODIs, so that’s why he is being backed.”
Before his duck in the opening T20I against the West Indies, Iyer impressed in the one-day series, registering scores of 54, 63 and 44 in the three games.
“Little hard on Deepak Hooda, but it is difficult to fit him in” – Reetinder Sodhi
Opening up on the Iyer vs Hooda battle, former India all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi believes dropping Hooda would not have been an easy decision for the Indian management. He said:
“Little hard on Deepak Hooda, but it is difficult to fit him in. Shreyas Iyer needs to get enough chances because he is in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup. Hooda is waiting in the wings. I am sure he will get his chance at some point. He has shown in the few games that he has played that he could also be a strong contender for the T20 World Cup.”
The 27-year-old Hooda scored 47* and 104 in the two-match T20I series against Ireland in Dublin. He also smashed 33 off 17 in the first T20I against England in Southampton before making way for Virat Kohli for the two remaining games.