Left-arm fast bowler T Natarajan stepped up with impressive performances during his maiden outing with Team India in the limited-overs series against Australia.
On his first international tour, the left-arm pacer stepped up with his yorkers and slower variations, and in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, helped India to a 2-1 T20I series win against Australia as he picked up six wickets in the three matches at an economy of just under seven.
Natarajan was selected to the Indian team on the back of a brilliant performance for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2020 edition of Indian Premier League. He took 16 wickets in as many games for the side, and ended as SRH's second-highest wicket-taker after Rashid Khan.
His SRH captain and Australia's leading batsman David Warner took to Instagram to congratulate Natarajan on a stellar tour.
"Win lose or draw we respect each other on and off the field. Despite losing the series I couldn’t not be any happier for this guy @natarajan_jayaprakash such a nice guy and just loves the game so much," Warner wrote.
"From being on the tour as a net bowler to debuting ODI/T20i for India what an achievement buddy well done!!"
The T20I leg of the tour, which ended on Tuesday, however saw Natarajan posing with both the series trophy and the Player-of-the-Series trophy, which Hardik Pandya had handed over to him, in the team photo.
"Natarajan, you were outstanding this series. To perform brilliantly in difficult conditions on your India debut speaks volumes of your talent and hard work. You deserve Man of the Series from my side bhai! Congratulations to Team India on the win," Pandya tweeted after Tuesday's game which India lost by 12 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Team India skipper Virat Kohli also praised Natarajan's work ethic and revealed that he could be a handy asset heading into the T20 World Cup to be played at home next year.