From Tennis ball cricket to taking wicket of Maxwell, Natrajan’s journey is filled with hard-work
Thangarasu Natrajan, famously known as T Natrajan came to limelight after a series of sizzling performances in the IPL 2020 for Sunrisers Hyderabad. During the IPL, he was first included in the Indian team as an additional bowler but was later included in the T20 squad in the place of injured Varun Chakravarthy. After missing the first two games, he was included in the third ODI at Canberra where he played an important role in the match. Apart from one over when he was taken to cleaners by Big Show, Glenn Maxwell, his bowling was more than decent. He took two important wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Ashton Agar and gave away 70 runs in 10 overs.
Although his figures tell a different story, he was able to execute yorkers successfully on many occasions. After a successful outing, he was also chosen in the first T20 game at Canberra where he was more than impressive. He took three wickets in the game, which included the dangerous Glenn Maxwell, who had better of him in the last ODI game. Other two wickets were of Darcy Short and Mitchell Starc.
Known for his toe-crushing Yorkers, Natrajan used his weapon to a good effect and castled Starc on the perfect yorker. But it was the precious wicket of Glenn Maxwell on a length ball which nipped back a little, which turned the match. Maxwell had expected it to go across the off-side of the stump as the left-hander was bowling from over the wicket. But the ball discarded the natural angle and came back into Maxwell which cost him the wicket.
Natrajan showed his potential by using slower ball, cutters and yorkers to good effect and contributing in the win of his team. He has become a strong contender to have his place in the playing eleven for the second T20. His bowling skills have become a threat for Mohammad Shami who has looked out of form on the Australia tour.
Story of T Natrajan
The left-arm fast bowler’s story starts from perfect yorkers in the tennis ball cricket at Salem, Chennai. He was them spotted by A. Jayprakash, a division cricketer who brought him to Chennai. Natrajan started playing division cricket and then eventually for Tamil Nadu. Later, he played in the TNPL, and impressed everyone with his yorkers and cutters. KXIP picked him for 3 crores in the auction for IPL 2017, but his disappointing performances made the franchise leave him. In the 2018 auction, he was picked by SRH, where he didn’t get an opportunity to play. He couldn’t play a single match even in the 2019 IPL.
It was IPL 2020 where he got to play all the matches. In the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Natrajan took the responsibility of death overs and scalped 16 wickets in 16 games with an economy of 8. The world saw the rise of young left-arm fast bowler who could execute Yorkers at will. The wicket of AB de Villers in the IPL with the perfect middle-stump yorker brought him a lot of praise. It was this moment, which announced the future of young Natrajan as cricket fans witnessed the extra-ordinary skill of him.
What lies ahead of Natrajan?
T Natrajan is being seen as a future star for India like Bumrah who can trouble any batsman in the death overs. Indian lacks a consistent left-arm fast bowler. Khaleel Ahmed had shown some hopes but then failed to perform consistently. T Natarajan could be India’s Mithcell Starc, Trent Boult, Mustafizur Rahman who would make life difficult for batsmen. However, there is a lot to learn for the young and skilful Natrajan. Even Virat Kohli said so in the post-match presentation of the first T20 at Canberra. Swing bowling is what, Natrajan should improve, especially with the new ball.
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