T Natarajan had a dream-like tour of Australia. He traveled as the net bowler but ended up debuting in all three formats in the same tour, becoming the first Indian player to do so. Although COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise for him as other Indian bowlers could not travel to Australia as replacements, nobody could take the credit for the massive impact he had in India’s triumph across all the series against Australia.
Swooped in ODIs as the backup of Navdeep Saini, he played the last match of the ODI series, which was the dead rubber but important for India to avoid a clean sweep. The pacer picked up the important wicket of Marnus Labuschagne and executed perfect yorkers to bamboozle Australians.
Consecutively, T Natarajan also made the debut in the three-match T20I series. He became the highest wicket-taker of the side, picking six wickets in three matches. He perfectly filled the space of Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested.
The injuries woes led to the ouster of all the premier pacers from the last Test match. Eventually, he was also handed over the Test cap. The left-arm pacer didn’t disappoint and notched three wickets in his debut Test match in The Gabba.
T Natarajan’s journey is nothing less than a fairy tale. It is a perfect story for a Bollywood movie.
Didn’t expect to debut for India: T Natarajan
T Natarajan was also stunned when the opportunities showered for him. He was also under pressure to play for India but wanted to give it all to that one chance. He is thankful for getting support from all the teammates to Indian coaches, who backed him and supported him throughout.
“I was keen to do my job. I didn’t expect to get an opportunity in the ODIs. When I was told that I will be playing there was pressure. I wanted to make use of the opportunity. Playing and taking a wicket was like a dream,” Natarajan told reporters in Chinnappampatti in Salem district.
“I cannot express my happiness in words about playing for India……It was like a dream. I got a lot of support from the coaches, players. They supported and motivated me a lot. I was able to perform well because of their backing,” he said in Tamil.
T Natarajan, who was the only net bowler ahead of Australia’s tour, has now played one Test, one ODI and three T20I with a total of 11 wickets in his name. He has been given rest for the first two Tests against England at the home.