IND v AUS 2020: T Natarajan can do well under Kohli like Zaheer did under Ganguly, says Karsan Ghavri

T Natarajan was an integral part of the SRH bowling attack in IPL 2020

Former India all-rounder Karsan Ghavri recently drew parallels between T Natarajan and Zaheer Khan. He stated that the former has the ability to quench India’s perennial thirst for a left-arm pacer if nurtured properly.

In an interview with Times of India, Ghavri – who was a left-armer himself – lavished praise on T Natarajan. He said that the 29-year-old, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, can reach the levels that Zaheer Khan scaled under Sourav Ganguly’s leadership.

“The way Zaheer did under Ganguly’s captaincy, Natarajan can do well under Kohli’s captaincy. Kohli is a good leader and I am sure he will motivate this guy [T Natarajan] and make him learn. As he progresses in his career and if he plays with consistent performance, he is going to serve the Indian team for a long time. He is a sparkling prospect for India,” Karsan Ghavri said.

T Natarajan earned his maiden national call-up after putting in consistent performances in IPL 2020. The Sunrisers Hyderabad speedster scalped 16 wickets in as many matches, and nailed the most yorkers (71) in the season.

On his international debut in the third ODI against Australia on Wednesday (December 2), the quick removed Marnus Labuschagne and Ashton Agar to return figures of 2 for 70 from 10 overs. Ghavri, though, isn’t too worried about the economy rate.

“I know he [T Natarajan] gave away a lot of runs but he has taken wickets too. He bowled yorkers in the death [overs]. That controlled the flow of runs. He looked good to me in his debut match. I am sure he will go a long way,” Ghavri reasoned.

T Natarajan is believed to have the ability to deliver what the likes of Barinder Sran, Khaleel Ahmed and Jaydev Unadkat couldn’t.

Commenting on his skills, Ghavri pointed out that the ability to bowl yorkers at the death will help the Tamil Nadu fast bowler stake a claim in any side.

“He is a bright prospect for the Indian team. He has the ability to generate a good amount of pace. He has got variations. The best part is that he has the ability to bowl yorkers, especially in the death overs. He has all the qualities a left-arm pacer needs,” Ghavri told TOI.

The key for a pacer to keep his place in a side is to stay fit. Ghavri acknowledged the same, and advised T Natarajan to maintain his shape and bowl in the nets every day.

“I will just advise him to keep his fitness level high. If he managed to do so, he can serve the Indian team for long…Cricket-related exercise is very important. If he is a fast bowler, he should be able bowling at the nets for at least an hour and a half,” he added.

“The more he will bowl at the nets, the more he will improve. He should bowl at least 15 to 20 overs in a day. That’s how you prepare yourself. You are playing for your country, not domestic cricket,” Ghavri, who scored 1,027 runs and picked up 124 wickets in 39 Tests and 19 ODIs, concluded.

T Natarajan is likely to play all matches in the forthcoming 3-match T20I series against Australia. He will look to continue his good form in the first T20I at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday (December 4).

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IND v AUS 2020: Is T Natarajan the answer to India’s tireless search for a left-arm pacer?

It is no mystery to anyone that follows Indian cricket closely that India has, for long, been in search for a quality left-arm bowling option to their pace attack. There is no rocket science behind it: India simply have not produced quality left-arm pacers in some time. It’s a question that has been posed to every selection committee we have had over the years, but none have been able to find the right personnel.


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