IPL 2022: Who is 'Baby AB' Ayush Badoni who made fifty on debut?

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IPL 2022: Who is 'Baby AB' Ayush Badoni who made fifty on debut?
© Provided by Firstpost IPL 2022: Who is ‘Baby AB’ Ayush Badoni who made fifty on debut?

Young Ayush Badoni stole the show on Monday despite his side Lucknow Super Giants losing to Gujarat Titans by five wickets in their IPL 2022 campaign opener.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Badoni, playing his first IPL match, slammed an impressive 54 off 41 balls from the lower order, helping LSG cross the 150-run mark on their tournament debut. In an innings laden with three sixes and four fours, Badoni offered little respect to established stars like Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan as he made the whole of India sit up and take notice of this latest sensation to come out of the IPL stable.

During the innings break, after Badoni’s blitzkrieg, the first thing broadcaster Harsha Bhogle asked him was: “Where have you been hiding?”

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A completely valid question considering the 22-year-old Badoni has never played a First-Class game. He only has six T20s to his name, in which he has scored a total of 62 runs at an average of 31 and strike rate of 119.23. He has the highest score of 54 which came Monday night.

So, who is Ayush Badoni?

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It was at the Under-19 level that Badoni first made the headlines. In 2018, the right-handed batter from Delhi slammed 185 in a youth Test against Sri Lanka. In the same year, he made a quick-fire 28-ball 52 not out against the same opposition this time in the U-19 Asia Cup final, leading India to a 144-run win.

However, for various reasons, Badoni who is a product of Tarak Sinha’s Sonnet Club didn’t get a chance for his state team. Sonnet Club is famous for producing cricketing gems like Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. While many from the club have gone on to represent India, Badoni apparently became a victim of local politics.

A #NotSoFunFact about Badoni.

A reputed Delhi coach stalled his #ranjitrophy selection for two seasons.

B4 #IPL2022 trials, a franchise’s talent scout was a former Delhi player who was himself a backdoor entry and claim to fame was judging the kid having himself scored 60 off 90

— Kushan Sarkar (@kushansarkar) March 28, 2022

Watch out for Ayush Badoni. Absolute pocket rocket denied by Delhi cricket for some years now. Straight out of Tarak Sinha’s stable. So glad to see the boy make his mark. Only Gambhir could realise his talent! #IPL2022

— Arani Basu (@AraniBasuTOI) March 28, 2022

Though that didn’t deter Badoni who kept trying his best and eventually caught the attention of LSG who bought him in the 2022 IPL auction for Rs 20 lakh. Fuelled by confidence given to him by Delhi and India legend Gautam Gambhir, Badoni now aims to make a permanent mark.

“Gautam bhaiya backed me a lot,” Badoni said in the post-match press conference. “He told me to play just my natural game. He told me you won’t get the one-odd match, but you will get a proper 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’.”

“My name had been coming for three consecutive years and I was going unsold every time. I had attended camps of 2-3 teams but I didn’t know if I’d be picked. Lucknow eventually picked me and I am very grateful.”

Badoni had been doing well in the practice games for LSG and it was the major reason why he was sent ahead of Krunal Pandya, at a crucial stage when Lucknow were reeling at 29/4 from 4.3 overs.

“After I was picked by Lucknow, I had scores of fifty-plus in two trial games. That impressed Gautam bhaiya and the coaches – Vijay sir and Andy Flower – and hence they were confident of sending me before Krunal Pandya,” Badoni said.

His 87-run partnership with Deepak Hooda propelled LSG to a decent total, but more importantly showed them that they have a solid and reliable middle-order option in the squad.

Captain KL Rahul too was impressed with what he saw of Badoni and called him ‘Baby AB’ of the team, referring to the similarities in his batting with AB de Villiers.

“He’s baby AB. He has been phenomenal from the first day. For a little boy he packs a punch and plays 360 degrees, so happy for him as he grabbed the opportunity. It was not ideal for him to walk out with us four down but he did well under pressure and hopefully he can continue doing that,” KL Rahul said in the post-match presentation.

IPL over the years has unearthed many uncapped superstars who have gone on to play for India. Badoni would now want to add his name to that list.

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