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Vaibhav Arora: From hat-trick on List-A debut to CSK's tormentor

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Last updated on 03 Apr 2022 | 05:22 PM
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Vaibhav Arora: From hat-trick on List-A debut to CSK's tormentor

Punjab Kings' debutant claimed the key wickets of Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali to dent the defending champs

Vaibhav Arora is not new to the glitz of the Indian Premier League (IPL), just that he never stepped into the spotlight. 

The right-arm pacer was part of the Punjab Kings set-up during the 2020 season albeit as a net bowler. Kolkata Knight Riders picked him for a base price of Rs 20 Lakh for the 2021 season but he ended up warming the bench.

Very much a pacer in the mould of the former Indian pacer Praveen Kumar, Arora can swing the ball both ways thanks to his excellent wrists. On his IPL debut on Sunday against defending Chennai Super Kings, Arora made full use of his strengths as he almost got his maiden IPL wicket in the opening over.  He got Ruturaj Gaikwad chasing after an out-swinger, but it fell short of Shikhar Dhawan at slip. 

However, he got a reward in the third over. Trying to cut down the movement Arora was creating, Uthappa stepped out of his crease when the pacer pulled his length back and banged it short. The ball climbed up and took a top edge off Uthappa and fell comfortably to Mayank Agarwal at mid-off.

Then came the second success when Moeen Ali played on to his stumps. With two wickets for the other pacers inside the powerplay, Mayank persisted with Arora, who bowled his quota of overs on the trot and finished with figures of 2-21.

A native of Ambala in the state of Haryana, Arora moved to Chandigarh at a young age to pursue cricket. However, he later moved to Himachal Pradesh for whom he made his first-class debut in the 2019-20 season.

Arora was Himachal's highest wicket-taker in the 2021 Ranji Trophy with 29 scalps in 12 innings at an average of 18.6.  Soon after being picked up by KKR, Arora made his List-A debut against Maharashtra in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy and made history by claiming the 12th hat-trick in the tournament’s history.

He picked up 10 wickets from six matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 at an economy of 7.4. Despite picking up just two wickets in the 2021-22 edition of the domestic tournament, Arora produced miserly spells and ended with an economy of 6.5 in the tournament.

These numbers prompted Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders to go on a bidding war with the former nipping him for INR 2 Crore.

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