T Natarajan’s still got it
T Natrajan captured the imagination of the Indian cricket fans on India’s tour of Australia in 2020-21.
Dream tour Down Under
Natrajan had impressed one and all with his performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL. The way he nailed his yorkers was a rare talent and he was duly picked by India as the team travelled to Australia for their first series after a long time following the COVID-19 break.
Natarajan made his debut in all the three formats on the tour. He did a fine job for the side in the ODI series and the T20 series, bowling both in the powerplay and at the death and won India at least a couple of matches by nailing his yorkers.
The left arm angle also helped as the Australian batters, particularly the likes of Glen Maxwell and Aaron Finch were not able to get him away on a consistent basis.
Sudden Test debut
But, the real surprise arrived when Natarajan made his test debut in the Brisbane test match which has now become famous as India beat Australia in a test series Down Under for the second consecutive time.
The marquee test series win brought them plaudits from cricket fans from around the world.
Natrajan picked up three crucial wickets in the first innings of the Brisbane test. There was a moment when the partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade was blossoming and the Indian bowlers seemed to have no reply.
It was then that Nattu put the bowl on a hard length and dismissed both the batters who skied the ball while trying to nudge it towards the legs side and helped India change the momentum of the match.
He’s still got it
Although he has been injured for a long time and wasn’t able to play the entirety of IPL 2022 as well due to various niggles, he still held his own.
From just 11 matches, Natrajan picked up 18 wickets at an impressive average of 22.5. He had the best of 3 for 10 and showed that despite injury and a couple of years having passed, he still has got that magic in his hands and can deliver for India if given an opportunity once again.
That said, it would be tough for Natrajan to break into the Indian set up now with several talented left arm pacers like Mohsin Khan, Khaleel Ahmed, Arshdeep Singh and Chetan Sakariya ahead of him in the pecking order.