Deepak Hooda struck a spectacular 28-ball 64 to help Punjab Kings reach a massive score of 221/6 after being put in to bat first by the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for a IPL 2021 match.

The right-hander was pushed up the order, ahead of the more accomplished Nicolas Pooran, and he made the most of his opportunity.

He got to fifty off just 20 balls and matched PBKS skipper KL Rahul stroke for stroke in their 105-run stand which put his side on the course for a big total.

The knock got the social media buzzing. Given Hooda was suspended by Baroda after getting into a spat with Krunal Pandya earlier this year and didn’t play a match this season, there was a redemption narrative as well. In fact, his last competitive game was in IPL 2020 in November last year.

“I was just reacting to the ball and showing aggressive intent in my batting,” said Hooda in the mid-innings break. “I got this role at No. 4 and I am happy to get this role, as I bat at this position in domestic cricket. There was no dew, the ball is holding up on the wicket for a bit.”

Here are some reactions to his innings: