When the three Indian squads for the tour of Australia was picked, it was received with mixed reactions. While there was a couple of big names missing, two promising fast bowlers received maiden calls. Mohammed Siraj has played T20Is for India, but the youngster was in for a pleasant surprise when his name was announced in India’s Test squad.
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However, another name that wasn’t expected was T Natarajan, the left-arm fast bowler from Tamil Nadu. Playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, Natarajan made heads turn with his accurate yorkers and pin-point bouncers.
While many believed it was perhaps a bit too early to hand the 29-year-old a ticket to Australia, VVS Laxman, a mentor with SRH is not one of them. In fact, the former India batsman, who knows a thing or two about playing against Australia, feels Natarajan could be a handy pick not only for the T20Is, but also the T20 World Cup next year in India.
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“With the T20 World Cup scheduled next year – if you look at the Indian team, it requires someone good at the death. It is great to see the likes of Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini bowl with such confidence in the death. Natarajan being a left-armer will be the X-factor,” Laxman told Sportstar.
In the recently-concluded IPL, Natarajan dismissed the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. While the left-arm quick has mostly been associated with yorkers, Laxman says Natarajan has plenty of stocks up his sleeve.
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“Natarajan was always known for those yorkers – even in the TNPL. But, I must say he got a lot of variations which he didn’t use in the IPL. He has a sharp bouncer, slower one, off-cutter and has the wicket taking ability with the new ball,” Laxman explained.
“Essentially, Natarajan has the mindset and the confidence of executing yorkers which we generally believe to be the toughest to deliver. And, he has done consistently and exceedingly well through the IPL, the pick of them being the dismissal of RCB’s AB de Villiers under pressure.”