Thangarasu Natarajan has received his maiden ODI cap and will make his debut for Team India in the third and final ODI of the series against Australia. Natarajan was a late inclusion in the ODI team, and sat out for the first two matches of the series.
The tour to Australia is Natarajan's maiden outing with Team India. He was selected in the side after a series of impressive performances in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
He was fondly named the 'Yorker Machine' due to his exploits with the stock delivery -- especially during the closing stages of the game.
Throughout the tournament, Natarajan, who represented Sunrisers Hyderabad, took 16 wickets in as many matches and produced a number of match-winning performances for the franchise.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 2, 2020
Natarajan, who hails from Chinnappampatti (around 340 kms from Chennai), commands huge respect from locals in the area, as he made his way to the highest level of cricket despite a tremendous lack of facilities in his place. The bowler honed his skills by playing tennis ball cricket and further encouraged the youngsters in the area to not give up on their dreams of playing the game.
After a number of impressive seasons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, Natarajan maiden IPL call-up arrived in 2017, when Kings XI Punjab bought him for Rs 3 crore. It was an uneventful stint, however, as he played six matches, took only two wickets and had an economy rate of 9.
Natarajan's exploits in the domestic cricket eventually caught the attention of Muttiah Muralitharan, who roped him in at Sunrisers Hyderabad a year later. The IPL 2020 was his breakthrough season in the tournament, as he played in all of SRH's games and ended the tournament as the franchise's second-highest wicket-taker (after Rashid Khan).