Natarajan's journey - a story of guts and glory

T. Natarajan has seen poverty from close where the next meal was a challenge. Son of a daily wage construction labourer, he was up against it from the start.

SRH's T. Natarajan celebrates after taking a wicket in a match in IPL 2020 against KKR.   -  BCCI/Spotzpics

One day his story could be a blockbuster on the silver screen. Such is the toil, the sacrifice, the drama and the passion behind his tale.

Thangarasu Natarajan has seen poverty from close where the next meal was a challenge. Son of a daily wage construction labourer, Natarajan was up against it from the start.

From there, to the present day when he has been picked in the Indian team for the Twenty20 series in Australia. His journey is surely one of guts and glory.

Cricket was his passion. It was also a relief, an escape from the life he was leading.

His is a remarkable against-all-odds narrative, from the dusty lanes of Chinnappampatti, a hamlet near Salem, to the demanding highway of the Indian Premier League, and then to the Indian team.

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From breaching defences with a tennis ball to shattering stumps with a leather ball, from obscurity to making headlines.

At 29, he is not young but each year represents a struggle; he overcame problems with action and injuries.

This IPL was a game-changer for Natarajan. He put his foot on the accelerator for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Filling out well and extracting more out of his action, Natarajan’s pace was up to the high 130s. And then he sent down yorkers at will. 

Natarajan comprehends his release point extremely well - a trait he learnt while playing tennis ball cricket - the key to bowling toe crushers.

His yorker to castle the mercurial AB de Villiers in the Eliminator was arguably the ball of the tournament. Such well-directed yorkers delivered at speeds close to 140kmph are hard to negotiate. Natarajan's bowling in death overs was not daunted by reputations. 

Now, he will be on the flight to Australia. Bumrah and Natarajan unleashing yorkers at the finish. It will be quite a sight.

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