IPL: SRH recruit Natarajan has his bowling plan charted out

"This time I wish to give my 100 per cent with Hyderabad. The focus will be on bettering my slower balls and delivering yorkers at the death," T. Natarajan said. 

T. Natarajan, who fetched Rs. 3 crore from Kings XI Punjab last year, will play for Sunrisers in 2018.   -  Shaun Roy/IPL/Sportzpics

Tamil Nadu left-arm pacer T. Natarajan catapulted into the limelight last year when Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) snapped him up for 30 times his base price of Rs. 10 lakh, making him the highest-paid uncapped Indian player in the 2017 auction. 

However, he struggled in his maiden season, claiming just two wickets from six games at an economy rate of 9.07. 

So, when the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) signed him at his base price of  Rs. 40 lakh — towards the end of the day two of the IPL auction — he was a relieved man. "I was out of action for nearly five months, didn't get to play much cricket. So, regardless of who picked me, I would've been pleased. At this point, I'm just glad to be a part of the Sunrisers squad," he told Sportstar

Natarajan may have struggled with the ball last IPL but the time he spent with the KXIP was a learning curve.  "Playing for Punjab was a great experience," he said.

"I was out of action for nearly five months, didn't get to play much cricket. So, regardless of who picked me, I would've been pleased. At this point, I'm just glad to be a part of the Sunrisers squad."

 

"It was my first year in the IPL and all my team-mates, the management and the support staff there were all very nice and helpful," he said adding, "Even my game has got better — it (IPL stint) taught me how to handle pressure and what lengths to bowl when the odds are stacked against me."

Auction review: SRH poses good challenge with intelligent buys

And is he excited about sharing the dressing room with Indian speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was retained by Hyderabad before the auction?  "Of course.  Playing alongside him (Kumar) will obviously help.  Last season, I wasn't playing at my best. I wasn't quite content with my performance.  So, this time I wish to give my 100 per cent with Hyderabad. The focus will be on bettering my slower balls and delivering yorkers at the death," he said. 

For Natarajan, who hails from Chinnappampatti, a small village 35 km from Salem in Tamil Nadu, IPL has been life-changing. "Everyone's talking and writing about me, it's a new feeling," he said.  "My parents too are very, very happy. I'm the eldest of five siblings – three sisters and one brother. They're all excited (laughs)," he signed off. 

The 26-year-old, who made heads turn with 10 wickets from seven matches in the inaugural season of the State's domestic T20 tournament — Tamil Nadu Premier League, would hope to deliver on his promise come April.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos