With a stellar IPL season, T Natarajan has now earned the chance to travel with the Indian side on the Australian tour.
Natarajan has easily been among the top finds of the tournament.
With very few left-arm fast bowlers in the cupboard, Natarajan joins a small group of talented and treasured bowlers.
Natarajan hails from Salem, Tamil Nadu, and is considered a yorker specialist.
He made his first-class debut in 2014 and went on to play for Kings XI Punjab in 2017.
He only played in six games and picked up two wickets in 2017, failing to make an impact.
His career failed to pick up as injuries kept him out of domestic cricket, and he found it challenging to make the eleven in a strong Sunrisers bowling outfit.
T Natarajan first came into the limelight during the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
State T20 leagues like the Tamil Nadu Premier League and Karnataka Premier league have helped local players.
With the matches televised, Nattu impressed with his Yorkers and displayed his potential as a death bowler.
Natarajan can bowl at a reasonable speed, with his pace touching up to 140, while he can send Yorkers at will.
His Yorkers are primarily attributed to the amount of tennis ball cricket he has played.
Playing with the tennis ball has allowed Natarajan to understand his release point very well, making it easier for him to bowl where he wants to.
With a rocky start to his career and some injuries, T Natarajan couldn’t make an impact with the Kings XI or Sunrisers early on.
The Sunriser’s pace attack had Basil Thampi, Siddarth Kaul, and Khaleel Ahmed as back-up Indian pacers, making it difficult for T Natarajan to break into the eleven.
He finally got his chance in IPL 2020, which has been a crucial tournament for national selection.
With no domestic cricket and A tours during the pandemic, the IPL became the prime source of scouting and selection for the national side.
He made his way into the eleven for the first game and exhibited his ability to bowl well in the end.
His performance gave David Warner the confidence to persist with him.
With Nattu showing up as a top death bowler, he, along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, would have been difficult to negotiate.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s unfortunate injury left Natarajan with more responsibilities as the side lost their best bowler.
In the absence of Bhuvneshwar, the bowling seemed to be missing a lot of experience.
He, however, combined well with Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder as they fought to stay competitive.
The bowling picked up nicely, with Natarajan making a name for himself with each game.
He picked up some crucial wickets during the tournament, with his yorker against Ab De Villiers being one of the best deliveries in the IPL.
He finished the tournament with sixteen wickets and a good economy.
He helped fill the void created by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and took the death bowling responsibilities upon himself.
He finished with the most Yorkers in the tournament, and his performance has allowed him to find a spot on the Indian Team.
T Natarajan will likely be playing alongside another talented bowler in Jasprit Bumrah while in Australia.
Both the bowlers are outstanding at the end of an innings, and bowling in tandem will undoubtedly be a treat to watch.
It is also interesting to note that Jasprit Bumrah made his international debut in Australia as well.
After a struggle to get himself noticed, T Natarajan has finally made use of the chance he has called and is now on his way to make his international debut for the Indian Team.
The possibility of Natarajan and Bumrah bowling Yorkers in the death is certainly a sight to see as fans are eagerly waiting for the tour to begin.