Hailing from Delhi, a certain Ayush Badoni took the Indian T20 League by storm, hitting an impressive 54 runs off just 41 balls on his debut for Team Lucknow against Team Gujarat on Monday, March 28.
Badoni became just the ninth player to score a fifty on the Indian T20 League debut.
The 22-year-old youngster took time to settle, scoring 13 from the first 22 balls, but as Deepak Hooda picked the pace, Badoni joined forces, hitting Hardik Pandya for three fours and one six of his final over.
The carnage sure didn’t stop there. The youngster, who was dropped on 40 by Lockie Ferguson off Mohammed Shami, hit the Indian veteran before completing his half-century off Ferguson’s delivery with a massive six.
“I wasn’t looking at my score, to be honest,” said the youngster during the mid-innings interview.
“I was only batting as my only target was to play my natural game in the final four overs and that’s why I played slow initially. Before the game, I was extremely nervous and I couldn’t sleep. But as soon as I hit my first boundary, I knew I belong here.”
Team Lucknow took a massive gamble of sending the unknown 22-year-old ahead of a much-experienced Krunal Pandya. That too at a time when the team had lost four wickets inside five overs with only 29 runs on the board.
Badoni then combined with Hooda to take his team from 29/4 to 116/5. The batter continued hitting the veterans with Krunal Pandya standing on the other side of the pitch and it’s safe to it was his as well as Hooda’s efforts on the back of which Lucknow could breach the 150-run mark.
Who is Ayush Badoni?
Although born in Uttarakhand, Ayush Badoni has represented Delhi in the 2020-21 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In his brief career, the 22-year-old failed to get a permanent place in the team, meaning that a bid of INR 20 lakh was nothing but a sheer gamble for Team Lucknow during the mega auction in February.
Now, Badoni may have not played much on the domestic circuit, but he sure has represented India in the U-19 level. Back in 2018, the youngster played in an eight-team Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup, returning with 145 runs in just three innings with a strike rate of 109.02. This included as many as two half-centuries. He also capped off the tournament with a wicket and finished with an economy of under four.
During the tournament, he hit four sixes in four balls against Sri Lanka U19 to grab headlines as he stamped his authority in some style.
Featured photo: Indian T20 League