New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has lauded India pacer and his SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) teammate Thangarasu Natarajan. Following the Tamil Nadu speedster's exemplary rise in international cricket, Williamson said that Natarajan deserves all the praise.
Arriving in Australia only as a net bowler, 29-year-old Natarajan became the first Indian cricketer to make his international debut across all three formats during the same tour. He looked confident with the ball in his maiden Test and plucked wickets of Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, and Josh Hazlewood. The left-arm pacer also ended up with two scalps in the solitary ODI he played and six in the three T20Is.
“Natarajan is just an amazing guy. What a fantastic IPL tournament he has had. And the opportunities and the doors that opened for him just week by week as he ended up playing the Gabba Test and what a famous victory that was for India.
“You know (this is) just an incredible time in his life and I appreciate, I suppose, to have some involvement just being his team-mate in the last IPL and some of the years before,” Williamson told Sports Today.
After India's historic victory in Australia, Natarajan had headed back in Chinnappampatti village in Salem district to a rousing reception. He was taken on a chariot to his home in the village with people playing percussion instrument chenda. Williamson also pointed out Natarajan's humble nature and said that he's become mature in a short period of time.
“I’m fortunate to play with him and it was awesome watching how he played going to Australia and taking up those opportunities as well,” said Williamson.
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. He was selected to go to Australia after Varun Chakravarthy suffered a shoulder injury, ruling the tweaker out of India's T20I squad.