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The Indian Premier League’s motto has always been ‘where talent meets opportunity’ and this was truly the case on Monday evening as Lucknow Super Giants batter Ayush Badoni rose to the challenge to play a 54-run knock against the Gujarat Titans at the Wankhede Stadium. Lucknow were staring down the barrel at 29/4, but it was Deepak Hooda and Badoni who put on 87 runs for the fifth wicket to help Lucknow post 158/6 in the allotted 20 overs.It might not have been enough as Gujarat chased down the target with five wickets in hand, but Badoni announced his arrival in style.The 22-year-old Badoni played a knock of 54 off 41 balls with the help of six fours and two sixes. The batter brought up his half-century off 38 balls. After the match ended, Badoni thanked Lucknow Super Giants mentor Gautam Gambhir for all his support.”Gautam Bhaiya helped me a lot. He asked me to play my natural game and play the ball, not the bowler. He told me that I would be getting a proper run in the team. He also told me ‘you do not need to play according to the situation, there are senior players to do that in the team, so you just play your natural game’,” Badoni said during a virtual press conference after the Gujarat-Lucknow encounter.”I was going unsold in the previous auctions. I had attended camps of 2-3 teams but I did not know if I would be picked. Lucknow showed their faith in me and I am grateful. I had two fifty-plus scores in the trials after Lucknow picked me and this impressed the coaches and that is why they were confident of sending me before Hardik Pandya,” added Badoni who was picked up by Lucknow in the auction for Rs 20 lakh.Not many know, but Badoni hails from Tarak Sinha’s Sonnet Club, which has earlier given Rishabh Pant to Indian cricket.In a youth Test, Badoni had played an unbeaten knock of 185 off 202 balls in 2018. Since then, he was being looked at as a serious prospect but he never got the chance to make it big in Delhi’s team and was also not a part of India’s U19 World Cup side in 2018.Promoted”It has been a little bit of a struggle. I have not gotten many opportunities with Delhi. I have enhanced my game, I have tried to add a few more shots to my arsenal. I played one season for Delhi, I played five matches, and in only one game I got the chance to bat. I was dismissed early in that game,” he added.Badoni is yet to play a first-class game and so far, he has just played six T20s in his career. He had made his T20 debut for Delhi against Mumbai in 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium.Topics mentioned in this article

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