MS Dhoni's Advice To Use Slow Bouncers And Cutters Was Useful: T Natarajan
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MS Dhoni’s Advice To Use Slow Bouncers And Cutters Was Useful: T Natarajan

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. Image Credits: Twitter

T Natarajan, left-arm yorker specialist says former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s advice to bowl slow bouncers and cutters during his breakout IPL season last year helped him get better at his craft.

The 30-year-old T Natarajan, who bowled a maximum of 71 yorkers among all pacers in the last IPL, dismissed big names such as MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers during the season.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

T Natarajan Said MS Dhoni Encouraged Him To Get Better With Experience

T Natarajan wasn’t initially a part of the Australian tour and was roped in for T20Is after spinner Varun Chakravarthy sustained an injury. After, initially, having toured Down Under as a net bowler, he played an ODI after being added as a backup for Navdeep Saini who complained of back spasms and a Test each but was a part of all three T20Is where he nailed the Yorkers with precision.

T Natarajan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T Natarajan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
He has played 1 Test, 2 ODIs, and 4 T20Is where he has 3,3, and 7 wickets respectively. He has also played 22 IPL games and picked 18 scalps.

“Speaking to somebody like Dhoni itself is a big thing. He spoke to me about fitness and encouraged me, saying that I will keep getting better with experience. He said, use slow bouncers, cutters, and variations like that. It has been useful for me,” Natarajan was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

Before that, MS Dhoni was dismissed by the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer, who also shone during India’s tour of Australia following a surprise call-up to the national team as one of the reserves who was later included in the main team after likes of Navdeep Saini leaked runs in ODIs and key bowlers were injured before the 4th Test in Australia.

Recalling that wicket, he said, “I pitched one in the slot and he hit me for a big six – 102 metres or something. The next ball I got his wicket (and didn’t celebrate) — I was just thinking about that previous ball.After coming back to the dressing room, though, I was happy. After finishing the match, I also had a chat with him.”

Touted as India’s Mustafizur Rahman, KXIP picked him up 3 crores for IPL 2017 after his sterling performances in the domestic season and in the first season of TNPL as well. He played in 6 games in his debut IPL season and picked up 2 wickets.

T Natarajan missed the 2017-18 season of Ranji season owing to an elbow injury but was still picked up during the 2018 IPL auctions by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 40 lakhs. However, he was benched for the entire season with plenty of experienced campaigners competing for the role. He picked 16 scalps in as many games in IPL 2020 at UAE for which he was included in the Indian squad for the first time.

T Natarajan Recalls Getting AB De Villier’s Scalp On The Same Day He Became A Father To A Baby Girl

Another of his big wickets during the course of the IPL 2020 was of South African great AB de Villiers, who represents Royal Challengers Bangalore in the lucrative league. On the same day, he also became a father.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

“On one side there was my girl and on the other side, I got that wicket in an important knockout game. I was extremely happy), but I didn’t really tell the others (about the baby). I thought I will tell everyone else after we win the game, but my captain (David) Warner spoke about it, I think, at the post-match (presentation),” Natarajan said.

T Natarajan also picked crucial wickets of Virat Kohli, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Marcus Stoinis, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shane Watson among others in IPL 2020. T Natrajan’s Sunrisers Hyderabad will open their campaign in the IPL 2021 on Sunday by taking on 2-time IPL winners Kolkata Knight Riders.