India’s vice-captain Rohit Sharma is extremely impressed by T Natarajan’s “solid character” and believes the Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer is here to stay with his hunger to succeed at the top level.
Natarajan, who came in as a net bowler, joined Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur to restrict Australia to 369, which according to Rohit is no mean feat.
“Natarajan bowled pretty well, to be honest. Playing outside the country (internationals) for the first time and bowling to such batsmen, it wasn’t going to be easy and he was not under any pressure,” Rohit said about the debutant, who was the pick of the bowlers with 3/78 in 24.2 overs.
“From ball one, he was right up there. He showed a lot of composure, is a strong character who doesn’t speak much but we all know he has a solid personality. He wants to do well for the team and also for himself. He is here to stay,” he said.
For Rohit, considering that cumulative experience of the bowling attack was four Test matches, they need to be lauded for keeping Australia under check on a good batting wicket.
“Most of these guys are playing first time in Australia. Siraj has played a couple of games and Saini played in Sydney. Obviously, there’s not a lot of experience there,” he said.
“They showed a lot of discipline and overall if I had to analyse the performance of these bowlers, I would say they bowled pretty well. It’s a good pitch still. This is a great experience for them bowling against the best batters, and test themselves.”
Rohit believes that each and every youngster in this set-up knows that with so much competition for places, there aren’t too many chances that will be up for grabs.
“Basically it boils down to where they are coming from. There is a lot of hunger to perform. You don’t get a lot of opportunities at this level and we all know that. So when you get an opportunity, you have to make that count.”
It’s not every team that can restrict Australia to less than 400 hundred in six completed innings and that’s a big credit to bowling unit.
“The A tours must have helped. Shardul, Navdeep and Siraj have played a lot of A team cricket. They know how difficult it can be in Australia. Their understanding of conditions helped them. To not let Australia score 400 is an achievement in itself. These tours they have done has helped them stay in control,” he said.
Rohit also praised his Mumbai teammate Shardul and feels that more he plays, better he will become in terms of consistency.
“I understand Shardul’s strength and he likes to swing the ball. Going for that he can go for runs as well but he likes to pitch it up and swing so that he can nick it off batsmen and he did that to Tim Paine and that is his strength. Definitely, he has got the temperament to play at the highest level. Most importantly he has the right attitude and I liked what I saw,” he said.
(With inputs from PTI)