T Natarajan is barely on his first worldwide tour, however VVS Laxman, his mentor at Sunrisers Hyderabad, sees him as a possible X-factor participant throughout India’s T20 World Cup marketing campaign at house in October 2021. Laxman believes Natarajan’s left-arm angle and skill to bowl on the demise separates him from the remainder of India’s tempo choices.
“With the T20 World Cup scheduled subsequent 12 months – in the event you have a look at the Indian group, it requires somebody good on the demise,” Laxman instructed The Hindu. “It’s nice to see the likes of Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini bowl with such confidence within the demise. Natarajan being a left-armer would be the X-factor.”
From not enjoying a single recreation for the Sunrisers in IPL 2019 to getting picked for India, Natarajan’s rise has been exceptional. Having plotted and deliberate with David Warner, his IPL captain, he might now be lining up in opposition to him in Australia.
The explanation why Natarajan has been talked about so extremely is his skill to hit the blockhole. Natarajan discovered to bowl the yorker whereas enjoying tennis-ball cricket in his hometown Salem, when he realised the one solution to forestall the comfortable ball from shedding tempo after hitting the clay surfaces he performed on was to go full. The supply has now introduced him widespread acclaim.
Natarajan bowled 71 yorkers in IPL 2020, essentially the most within the match as per ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball information. The second bowler on that record, Kartik Tyagi, solely despatched down 28.
Total, Natarajan picked up 16 wickets within the IPL and completed with an economic system fee of 8.02, which is spectacular contemplating 131 of the 377 balls he bowled throughout the match got here within the demise (final 4) overs.
“He has been doing nicely proper from the follow matches earlier than the IPL started within the UAE,” Laxman stated. “The sort of confidence degree he confirmed proper from the beginning was superb.
“That’s the reason why we gave him the prospect forward of Khaleel Ahmed and as soon as Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) was dominated out with an harm, he turned an essential cog within the assault.”
Whereas the yorker was his calling card, Laxman believes Natarajan has many different variations too. “Natarajan was all the time identified for these yorkers – even within the TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League). However, I need to say he is obtained lots of variations which he did not use within the IPL. He has a pointy bouncer, slower one, offcutter, and has the wicket-taking skill with the brand new ball.
“Basically, Natarajan has the mindset and the arrogance of executing yorkers which we typically imagine to be the hardest to ship. And, he has carried out constantly and exceedingly nicely by way of the IPL, the decide of them being the dismissal of RCB’s AB de Villiers below strain.”
Natarajan’s rise is exceptional as a result of it is uncommon for the selectors to choose an uncapped 29-year-old. The final two quick bowlers to make their worldwide debuts for India after 29 have been S Aravind in 2015 and Pankaj Singh in 2014. Previous to that, you will have to return to 1994, when Bhupinder Singh Snr. made his ODI debut, after which all the best way again to 1958, when Ghulam Guard performed the primary of his two Checks.
“Natarajan is a hard-working cricketer who by no means missed a coaching session and is all the time eager to work on his expertise to be a a lot better bowler each day,” Laxman stated. “He has been doing very well within the TNPL, he was a part of Kings XI Punjab, he did nicely constantly for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy.
“He did not get too many alternatives in SRH (in 2018 and 2019) due to the likes of Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the frontline bowlers.”