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Fresh from Auction, KKR's new recruit Vaibhav Arora takes ha-trick on List-A Debut

Three days after KKR had picked up Vaibhav Arora in the IPL 2021 Auction, the right-arm fast-bowler went on to become the first ever bowler to pick up a hat-trick on List-A debut, while playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for his state team Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

Since the tournament’s inception in 2002, Vaibhav became the 12th player to grab a hat-trick in this format. Our fans will be glad to know that out of the remaining 11 bowlers, two of them are now our Knights – Kamlesh Nagarkoti (vs Gujarat, 2016-17) and Shivam Mavi (vs Saurashtra, 2018-19). And as luck would have it, Vaibhav got his debut cap on Sunday from our former Knight Rishi Dhawan! This can't be a mere coincidence, can it?

Even though Viabhav’s team lost to Maharashtra, his glittering 4-45 stood out, specifically because of his hat-trick, which included the wickets of Nikhil Naik, Ankit Bawne and Mukesh Choudhary.

The 23-year-old speedster had a brilliant run in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy too. Debuting in the domestic T20 format, Vaibhav returned 10 wickets in 6 matches with an average of 16.8.

The youngster was pretty impressive even against the eventual champions Tamil Nadu. His 3-30, which included a maiden over, reflected his class.

He was, in fact, the highest wicket-taker for Himachal in this season’s Ranji Trophy too. His 29 wickets, which included a fifer against Uttar Pradesh (8-for in the match), stand as the highest number of wickets by any Himachal player in debut season.

Vaibhav is known in the domestic circuit for specialising in making stumps fly, but in his own words, "I love hitting those big sixes as much as I love taking wickets."

So, are our #ToofaniFans all set to welcome this Rockstar in the Knight Riders family this IPL season?