Indian skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on T Natarajan after the 3rd T20I against Australia. A left-arm pacer, T Natarajan completed the T20I series as the highest wicket-taker with six wickets at a rate of 13.83.
After the first two ODIs, Team India didn’t play the seasoned duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami together. 29-year-old Natarajan was tasked with operating both with the new ball and in the daunting death overs on his debut tour.
Virat Kohli spoke highly of T Natarajan’s composure in these pressure situations after the game. At the post-match press conference, he said:
“Special mention for Natarajan, in the absence of Shami and Jasprit, he stood out and really delivered under pressure. It is outstanding because he is playing his first few games at the international level. He looks very composed, he is a humble and hard-working guy, he is sure of what he is doing.”
Natarajan rose through the SRH ranks in IPL 2020 as a yorker-specialist who could also bowl with accuracy in the powerplay overs.
The man from Salem showcased his dexterity in the 3rd ODI against Australia, which was his debut match for Team India. Even after the Aussie batsmen’s early onslaught on his bowling, T Natarajan took 2 wickets in the game. The first one was bowled by a 4th-stump delivery and the other with a pinpoint yorker.
In the following matches, he showed the other strings to his bow by getting batsmen out with bouncers and slower deliveries as well. With the clock ticking quickly ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup, experts believe that Natarajan could form a lethal pace combination with Bumrah and Shami in the tournament.
Virat Kohli believes that T Natarajan’s performance in Australia bodes well for the major tournament where he could be a real ‘asset’ to the team.
“I hope he continues to keep working hard on his game and gets better because a left-arm bowler is an asset for any team. If he can keep bowling in this way consistently, it will be a great thing for us heading into the World Cup next year,” said Kohli.
India lost the third T20I by 12 runs but won the series 2-1. The Men in Blue will now don the whites in the Border-Gavaskar trophy which begins on December 17th in Adelaide.