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What do we say when a player exceeds his expectations at just young age? Remember the name, maybe? And this has become a very cliché line for talented players like Ayush Badoni, who is in his 20s, comes in for Lucknow Giants, Slogs sweeps Rashid Khan for a six, and later hooks Ferguson for another. 

Ayush Badoni was the star of the game, which comes in scores a fifty, just like that? Most players at his age play under pressure because they don’t want to be excluded from the team. But for Ayush Badoni, ice runs through his veins as he is different from others who play with aplomb. But who is Ayush? 

If you have seen Delhi cricket, he was a talented player at the under-19 level scoring an unbeaten 185 runs in a test match against Sri Lanka,  and was also the star player in the Asia Cup when he smashed a 28-ball 52. Now he’s already become the ninth Indian player to score a fifty in his first IPL debut.  However, prior to this masterclass innings, the youngster has scored just 8 runs in his 5 T20s for Delhi. 

However, it was the warm-up games that did all good for him and credits to Gautam Gambhir, who gave him a chance to exhibit his charisma on the grand stage. However, Ayush Badoni made no mistake displaying his solid pedigree. 

“Gautam bhaiya backed me a lot,” Ayush Badoni marveled after the match. “He told me to play just my natural game. He told me you wouldn’t get the one-odd match, but you will get a good run. He also told me, ‘you don’t need to play according to the situation. There are senior players to do that. You show us your natural game’.”

“I have been in the auction for three years and have gone unsold,” Badoni said of the intervening three years. “I have been to trials for two-three teams, but nobody eventually picked me at the auction. So I am grateful to Lucknow for picking me.”

“The last three years have been a bit of a struggle. I didn’t get much of a chance with Delhi either. I played only one season and got to bat only once. For that, I have enhanced my game. I have added more shots, which has helped me a lot.”

During the practice, Badoni caught the eye of everyone with his brilliant performance. “In the practice matches for Lucknow, I scored the fifties in both the games,” Badoni said. “Gautam bhaiya liked that, and the other coaches were impressed too. So, they believed I could bat ahead of Krunal.”

But in the end, we all come down to that cliché line; remember his name? So while Badoni doesn’t know where he was hiding these three years, and since he has arrived at this most prominent stage of cricket, we might see him soon turning into an exemplary batsman for his club and country. 

Cover Credits: BCCIofficial