Following his impressive show for SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the recent IPL edition, T Natarajan made his national debut against Australia in the third ODI of the series.
The left-arm pacer, who had left a mark with his accuracy and pinpoint yorkers in UAE conditions, was picked in the playing XI against Australia after the team management resorted to shuffling the squad for the final game of the series. Natarajan justified his selection as he picked the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne and conceded only 30 runs in his first six overs.
Meanwhile, former Australia international Tom Moody has showered praise on Natarajan's ability to bowl slower balls and yorkers. Moody termed Natarajan as a 'defensive' bowler, who will help India to curb the run-flow with his cutters.
“The biggest challenge is coming to terms with the nerves of the big stage of international cricket. He has come from the backwaters of Chennai where he has learnt his craft. As we all know, it’s a terrific story,” Moody told ESPNCricinfo.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the beginning of that story when we recruited him at Sunrisers 2-3 years ago, on the back of the T20 tournament. I like what he has got to offer.
Natarajan ended IPL 2020 as SRH's second-highest wicket-taker (after Rashid Khan), taking 16 wickets in 16 games and delivering multiple match-winning performances for his franchise. After plying his trade in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, Natarajan was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in 2017 for Rs 3 crore. However, after playing just six games, he shifted his base to SRH a year later. After a couple of years, the pacer was finally rewarded with a breakthrough season.
“I call Natarajan a defensive bowler. What he does is he builds pressure and when you are in the eye of the storm, he’s got the skills to shut the opponent down with his slower balls or yorkers, as he angles from the left-arm over.
“India will welcome that when the runs are starting to leak, they have a good option and natural strong-defensive bowler. They could have used him in Syndey as well, his cutters could have been effective on Syndey surface,” added Moody.