Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul believes that Ayush Badoni is ‘baby AB de Villiers’ after the debutant smashed quick-fire 54 against Gujarat Titans on Monday here at the Wankhede Stadium.
Fighting knocks from Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni guided Lucknow Super Giants to 158/6 in their assigned 20 overs before their fellow IPL debutants Gujarat Titans chased the target with two balls to spare.
Lucknow who were at a spot of bother with 29/4 at one time were powered up by Deepak Hooda (55) and youngster Ayush Badoni who scored 54 on his debut. Mohammad Shami was a man on fire for Gujarat Titans as it was his sensational opening spell that yielded three wickets and left LSG in tatters.
KL Rahul in the post-match presentation said: “It was a phenomenal game. What a way to start the campaign. Starting off like that with the bat was not ideal but the way we recovered was phenomenal. It gives us so much confidence when the batters in the middle and lower order can do the job. We know with the Wankhede the ball can do a bit at the start and if we can get through that it will be ideal. We couldn’t have started the campaign in any better way.”
“There is so much to take away and learn for us. Sometimes you gotta give it to the quality of the bowler. We all know how good Shami is and if anyone could exploit the pitch that is Shami. I knew he would be dangerous. It is good to see him bowl that well. With the way we finished and batted in the second half we gave ourselves a chance. It gets really difficult with the dew to grip the ball but I don’t want to give that as an excuse. We have to go back and practice bowling with the wet ball. We executed most of our plans but with a wet ball it skids on nicely. Good win for them and good learning for us,” LSG skipper added.
Talking about debutant Badoni, Rahul said: “He’s (Badoni) baby AB for us. 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.”
Rahul Tewatia 40*, Matthew Wade 30, Hardik Pandya 33, and David Miller 30 played inspiring knocks for Gujarat as they chased the target of 159 with two balls to spare in the battle of debutants against Lucknow. (ANI)