As Lucknow Super Giants gear up for their second match against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday (March 31), the focus will be on young middle-order batter Ayush Badoni who made a sensational start to his career with a half-century on debut against Gujarat Titans. Coming in with Lucknow Super Giants struggling at 29/4, Badoni (54) shared a superb rearguard 87-run partnership with Deepak Hooda (55) to help Lucknow reach a modest 158/6 in 20 overs. Though the team led by India vice-captain K.L Rahul succumbed to a five-wicket defeat, there took some positives from that game at the Wankhede Stadium. Like Badoni and Hooda’s batting and Dushmantha Chameera’s bowling.
But the biggest gain was Badoni’s batting and the mature head he showed in building his innings. so much so that skipper KL Rahul termed him their ‘Baby AB’. He started cautiously before exploding into action after the 15th over. The confident way in which he struck sixes off Gujarat Titans’ skipper Hardik Pandya, experienced Afghan spinner Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson showed his skillsets and aggressive approach to batting.
CSK are also coming off the back of a defeat in their opening game against Kolkata Knight Riders, although former captain MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten fifty in that match.
It was former India opener and KKR captain Gautam Gambhir that had recommended Badoni to Lucknow management and the youngster did not disappoint his backers. It was Gambhir’s suggestion to play the ball and not the bowler that helped Badoni to hit big sixes against the likes of Pandya, Rashid Khan and Ferguson.
“Gautam bhaiyya has backed me a lot. He always tells me to play my natural game and to play the ball and not the bowler. That gave me a lot of confidence. He also told me that I would not get to play 1-2 matches but a lot of opportunities. He backed me a lot and told me not to bother about the situation (in which I have to bat) but to play my natural game. There are senior players to bother about the situation. That helped me play freely,” Badoni told the post-match press conference on Monday. Lucknow will be hoping that he continues in the same vein in the subsequent matches.
Lucknow Super Giants vs Chennai Super Kings, Match No. 7
Venue: Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Date & Time: March 31st at 7:30 PM IST
Live Streaming: Star Sports Network, Star Gold and Disney+Hotstar
LSG vs CSK Dream 11 Prediction
Wicketkeeper: Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul
Batters: Robin Uthappa, Deepak Hooda, Ruturaj Gaikwad
All-rounders: Moeen Ali, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni
Bowlers: Dwayne Bravo, Adam Milne, Dushmantha Chameera
Captain: KL Rahul
Vice-Captain: Moeen Ali
LSG vs CSK Probable Playing XI
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Evin Lewis, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni, Krunal Pandya, Dushmantha Chameera, Mohsin Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Shivam Dube, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner / Devon Conway, Tushar Deshpande, Adam Milne