Rohit Sharma heaped praise on debutant T Natarajan at the end of second day's play on Saturday. Playing his maiden Test for India, Natarajan picked up three wickets as India bowled out Australia for 369 in the first innings. Along with Natarajan, Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar also registered three scalps each at The Gabba.
Rohit termed Natarajan as a 'bright prospect' for India and said that the pacer understands his bowling really well. 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 and plucked wickets of Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood.
"Natarajan is a bright prospect for us, he showed a lot of discipline when he played for India in the white-ball format. He was coming off a good IPL and he carried that confidence into the white-ball series against Australia. Then to have a Test match like that, first spell he bowled was very accurate, if I have to judge," said Rohit during the virtual press conference on Saturday.
"Somebody who is playing his first Test, we can really say that he understands his bowling really well, it is something that India wants. Natarajan was trying to do what was expected out of him and I think he looks like a bright prospect for sure," he added.
Rohit also lauded the other debutant, Washington Sundar, for performing well against a potent batting line-up. India ended the second day's play at 62/2, with skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. Rohit missed out on his half-century after he gifted his wicket to off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
"They have played some first-class games coming into this Test. Playing against Australia in Australia was never going to be easy. But they showed a lot of character and they understood what the team expected them to do.
We wanted to make sure that once Saini walked off, how we can contain and put pressure on Australian batsmen by not giving them easy runs, run-scoring can be easy here as it is a good pitch. Playing their first match, they showed a lot of character and discipline and yes, the team was expecting them to do something and both Sundar and Natarajan did that really well."