India vs Australia, 3rd ODI: Natarajan makes debut

Left-arm pacer T. Natarajan was handed ODI cap number 232 by skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the toss at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

T Natarajan

Left-arm pacer T. Natarajan at a Team India gym session in Australia.   -  TWITTER/BCCI

Pacer T. Natarajan, who had been added to India's squad for the ODI series against Australia by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee as a cover for Navdeep Saini, made his debut on Wednesday.

The left-arm bowler, earlier drafted into the T20I squad after an injury to spinner Varun Chakravarathy, was handed cap number 232 by skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the toss at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

IPL 2020 was a game-changer for Natarajan as he put his foot on the accelerator for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 29-year-old from Salem bowled with a pace of around 130-135 kmph and additionally, gained popularity as a 'yorker specialist' because of his ability to trouble batsmen with unplayable toe crushers at will. Under the mentorship of India legend VVS Laxman, he went on to claim 16 wickets in the league.

India vs Australia 3rd ODI Series Live Score Updates: India wins toss, opts to bat first; Natarajan makes debut

“Natarajan is a hard working cricketer who never missed a training session and is always wanting to work on his skills to be a much better bowler every day. He has been doing really well in the TNPL, he was part of Kings XI Punjab, he did well consistently for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy. He didn’t get too many opportunities in SRH because of the likes of Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the frontline bowlers,” Laxman had earlier told Sportstar in an interview.

Natarajan comprehends his release point extremely well - a trait he learnt while playing tennis-ball cricket. His yorker to castle the redoubtable AB de Villiers in the Eliminator was arguably the ball of the tournament.

Aaron Finch's Australia has already clinched the three-match ODI series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.

 

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