T Natarajan.
T Natarajan. Image Credit: X

Even though T Natarajan has been bowling quite well, he hasn’t got a place in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad. The selectors have decided to go with experience. Jasprit Bumrah will lead the pace-attack, besides Mohammad Siraj and the left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh.

Even though Bumrah has been in fine touch with 14 wickets in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, both Siraj and Arshdeep have found it tough. The opening swing bowler for Punjab Kings, Arshdeep Singh has picked up 12 wickets in the tournament so far but at an expensive economy of 9.63.

On the other hand, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru bowler Mohammad Siraj has only six wickets besides his name, at a high economy of 9.50.

‘T Natarajan has been bowling well’- Sunil Gavaskar

The left-arm pacer of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Thangarasu Natarajan has performed brilliantly this season, with 13 scalps in seven games.

Natarajan’s special quality is his excellent knack of picking wickets and drying up the runs in the death overs (16-20). His toe-crushing yorkers and some of the smart slow balls become so hard for the batters to smash.

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On those slow surfaces in the Caribbean, T Natarajan has the skill of foxing the batters, and could even bowl at a rapid pace consistently to maintain an impressive economy rate.

Meanwhile, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who was a part of India’s 1983 World Cup team feels that T Natarajan could be a good option for India in the world event.

‘I was thinking more like T Natarajan, the left-arm pace bowler. He has been bowling extremely well. So, I thought maybe he could have been in the team.’ Gavaskar said in an interview. ‘But that’s okay. I think the seam bowlers that they have got, they all have experience. So, no problem with that.’

Besides, these three fast bowlers, India have gone with Hardik Pandya, who too has been struggling in this IPL with six wickets at an economy of 11. They have also gone with four spinners- Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

‘Well, there is Hardik Pandya to bowl as well as the fourth seam bowler, so maybe that’s the reason they’ve (selectors) gone with four spin bowlers.’ Gavaskar told. ‘The pitches in the West Indies… there’ll be a little more help for the spinners than for the quick bowlers.’

‘As we have seen in the IPL, the slower the deliveries, the harder it’s for the batters to hit and that’s perhaps the reason why they have gone with extra spinner.’ Feels the ‘Little Master’.

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The 74-year-old also believes that Rohit could lift the trophy under Rohit Sharma, after bringing the right ‘attitude’ and ‘approach’ in the team, which was missing in the last two editions.

‘There has been changes in attitude, changes in approach, which we saw in the 50-over World Cup (last year in India), and that augurs well for this (T20) World Cup as well.’

India will lock horns with Ireland, Pakistan, and Canada in the group stage of the T20 World Cup.