With a swashbuckling half century on debut for the Lucknow Super Giants in their season opener against the Gujarat Titans, Ayush Badoni, 22, has announced himself on the big stage.
Virtually unknown in the cricketing world before he came out to bat with his side tottering at 29/4, Badoni startled the pundits and public with his entertaining 54 off 41 balls which included three sixes and four fours.
Badoni did the unthinkable when he smashed Rashid Khan for a six, and in subsequent overs, went after both Lockie Ferguson and Mohammad Shami.
An all-rounder from Delhi, Badoni attracted the talent scouts's attention with his performances on the U-19 circuit. But before Monday night, he had just played five T20 games scoring just 7 runs.
Coached by Delhi Coach Tarak Sinha, who counts Rishabh Pant as one of his pupils, Badoni was picked by LSG Mentor Gautam Gambhir who signed him up at the auction for his base price of Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million).
Gambhir had told his fellow Star Sports commentators during the series against the West Indies that Badoni was an exciting prospect of whom he had great expectations.
'I couldn't sleep yesterday night thinking about my debut,' Badoni told Star Sports after his innings, 'but after I hit my first boundary tonight, I realised that I belong here and started getting into my own.'