Despite looking good in patches, Lucknow lost their opening encounter to Gujarat. Mohammed Shami's sensational spell during the first innings ensured that Lucknow have a batting collapse. While everyone thought that the KL Rahul-led side would get bundled rather cheaply, the Indian T20 league debutant Ayush Badoni had other plans.
The batter joined forces with Deepak Hooda to play the rescue act. Badoni ended up scoring a superb 54 off 41 balls. Although Lucknow lost the game, he won a lot of hearts. Several experts and pundits were impressed with his talent, and went on to speak about his potential.
In the meanwhile, he recently credited Lucknow's mentor Gautam Gambhir for backing him. Badoni stated that he didn't get too many opportunities for Delhi as he was left out of their squad. The youngster also drew light on how Gambhir asked him to play his natural game.
“I did not get a chance for Delhi. I enhanced my game, tried new shots, learnt new shots and that helped me in T20 cricket. My name had been coming up [in ITL auctions] for three years, but I went unsold. When my name cropped up [at the latest auction] this time, my heart was racing. Gautam bhaiya backed me. He just advised me to play the ball, not the bowler. That gave me a lot of confidence. He asked me to play my natural game, stressing that the senior players would handle the match situation. Thus, I could play freely,” said Ayush Badoni, as quoted by MSN.com.
He also spoke about how he was asked to bat ahead of the experienced Krunal Pandya during Lucknow's game against Gujarat. Badoni mentioned that Gambhir was impressed with his performances in the practice games. He said that he scored two fifties during the practice games for Lucknow.
"In the practice matches for Lucknow, I scored fifties in both the games. Gautam bhaiya liked that, and the other coaches were impressed too. So they believed I could bat ahead of Krunal," he added.