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IPL 2024: Hayden hails Pooran as 'cleanest hitter in the world' after cameo in record chase in Chepauk

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Chennai, April 24 (IANS) Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden hailed Nicholas Pooran as "cleanest hitter in the world" after the Lucknow Super Giants' (LSG) wicketkeeper-batter's cameo in a stunning chase of 211 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the hosts pulled off the highest run chase at Chepauk.

As Marcus Stoinis smashed a sensational maiden century with his unbeaten 124 of 63, Pooran supported him from the other end with his cameo of 15-ball 34 to execute a record run chase against the defending champions in their home. Deepak Hooda, too, played his part in the record win with a quickfire 17 off six.

Reflecting on Lucknow’s batting performance against Chennai, Hayden praised Pooran and said the 28-year-old have got great options of shots to play against both pace and spin.

"I can say that about Nicholas Pooran as well. The 19 balls that Padikkal took up before his dismissal, that was putting Marcus Stoinis under enormous pressure. When he was bowled this evening, that was probably the best outcome for LSG because it brought in the accelerator to LSG. Nicholas Pooran is the cleanest hitter in the world, I think, in this IPL. Such a talented free hitter of the ball. Got great options against both pace and spin," said Hyaden on Star Sports Cricket Live.

"At that stage, when you've got a Ruturaj Gaikwad-like innings forming, as Marcus Stoinis was creating, they were actually going neck to neck as well. It was almost like a competition within the competition as to the stabilisers of the innings and then the finishers, Shivam Dube and Nicholas Pooran, that were just blasting away. And some great re-guard action from Deepak Hooda as well.

Hayden further discussed how LSG can utilise Pooran and suggested that the left-hander can come up the order with the Stoinis and bat longer, similar to his role for the West Indies in international cricket.

"Well, I've had this discussion with my mate, Justin Langer, around where they utilize him. And there's two schools of thought. There's a school of thought that says, we need someone batting in that 5 and 6 position that can bring a game home. And Nicholas Pooran can do exactly that.

"But then you look at, you know, someone like Devdutt Padikkal, who hasn't had the tournament that you'd expect him to have. And you've got a world-class player in Nicky P who can come up the order with the Stoinis and in combination at 4 and can bat longer. And that's what he's been doing in international cricket as well. You know, so, obviously, they're still really comfortable in playing his role for LSG down the order," said Hayden.

"But there's still, I think, room as the tournament gets a little tighter and scoreboard pressure becomes an option. You want an experienced international player there to take it forward for the team," he concluded.



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