After a defeat in the One-day International series, India’s white-ball leg of the ongoing Australia tour ended on Tuesday as the men in blue bagged the three-match T20I series 2-1. And one of the biggest positives for the Indian team across the limited-overs games was left-arm pacer, T Natarajan.
The 29-year-old, who made his ODI debut in the third and final match of the series before playing his first T20I a few days later, was a key performer for Virat Kohli’s team and impressed one and all with his skill and consistency.
Having picked two wickets in the ODI match, Natarajan played all three T20Is and returned with six wickets at a phenomenal economy-rate of 6.91.
Speaking after the third T20I on Tuesday, Natarajan said that he kept his expectations to a minimum having been fast-tracked into the Indian team after an impressive Indian Premier League season with the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“Just to get a chance to play against a quality side like Australia has been extraordinary. I came here with no expectations. My strength has always been the ability to bowl those yorkers and deliver during the death overs,” he said during a television interview.
Natarajan was initially picked for the Australia tour as a net bowler but made his way to the squad after an injury to spinner Varun Chakravarthy. The left-arm pacer said he tried to keep things simple to make the most of the opportunity he was given.
“I have not looked to do anything different from what I did during the IPL. You don’t change too much when something is working for you over a period of time,” he said.
Reflecting on his calm nature on the field, which has earned him lots of admiration, he said it’s something that comes naturally to him.
“I have never been aggressive and that’s how I have been since my younger days. I can’t fake aggression. Each time I take a wicket, all that I do is smile and celebrate with my teammates,” said Natarajan.
After the third T20I against Australia, Kohli too was full of praise for Natarajan.
“In the absence of (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami, he is the one who has stood up. He is sure of what he wants to do. I wish him all the best. A left-arm bowler is an asset for any team,” said the India captain.
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