Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has stated that the debutant T Natarajan has put Mohammed Shami under pressure for maintaining the spot in the playing XI after his impressive bowling in the first T20I against Australia in Canberra.
T Natarajan, who was called in the Indian team after an impressive Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, picked up big wickets to seal the deal for India in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. He notched the wicket of D’Arcy Short while sent the attacking batsman Glenn Maxwell early to bring back India in the game. The pacer also manifested a perfect yorker to clean bowled Mitchell Starc while bowled four overs at an acceptable economy rate of 7.50.
Seeing his great work in Canberra, Sanjay Manjrekar heaped praise on Natarajan while stated that Mohammed Shami will now be under pressure to keep his place in the shortest format.
“What he has done is he has put Mohammed Shami under pressure as a T20I bowler. Now India will be really tempted to have him along with Bumrah as one of his seamers.
“This is a guy who can bowl at the death. If you have Bumrah and Natarajan, it just puts pressure on Shami because Chahar is from a different school of swing,” Sanjay Manjrekar said on Sony Six after India’s win in the T20I series opener
I just find T Natarajan amazing: Sanjay Manjrekar
T Natarajan had attracted Indian selectors with his perfect yorkers in the recently concluded IPL even though due factor had halted world-class bowlers to execute yorkers. He picked up 16 wickets in 16 matches for SunRisers Hyderabad.
Manjrekar is also in awe of the Tamil Nadu cricketer’s bowling. He reckons that the 29-year-old has not only got a yorker in his armoury to pick wickets, but he has the knack of picking wickets through different variations.
“It’s a great story purely because this is a guy who has come out of nowhere. Today, by playing his first T20I and bowling so well there was a wicket he took off a length ball of Maxwell. He is not a bowler who will get you wickets only with the yorkers when the batsmen are trying to slog you.
“I just find him amazing. A couple of years ago, who would have thought? He would not have imagined himself in his wildest dreams that he would be challenging the big boys for a place in the Indian team,” Sanjay Manjrekar said.
Meanwhile, after winning the first T20I, India will move on to play the second T20I against Australia on Sunday in Sydney.