T Natarajan’s fairytale run continues as he joins another elite list while bowling in his debut Test innings on Saturday (January 16) at Gabba. After injuries galore in the Indian team, Natarajan was given a debut in the ongoing Test match against Australia in Brisbane.
Tim Paine won an important toss and elected to bat. On the back of Marnus Labuschagne’s hundred, and healthy contributions from other batters, the hosts posted 369 in their first innings.
India fielded a young and inexperienced bowling attack: Mohammed Siraj, 2 Tests, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, 1 Test each, and debuts were handed to T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. Natarajan, Sundar, and Thakur took 3 wickets each, and a solitary scalp for Siraj while Saini went off the field after bowling 7.5 overs with a groin injury.
T Natarajan records second-best figures by a left-arm Indian pacer on debut
T Natarajan with his figures of 3/78 at the Gabba has now recorded the second-best bowling figures by an Indian left-arm seamer. Former Indian pacer, RP Singh holds the record with his figures of 4/89 which he achieved against Pakistan on his debut in 2006 in Faisalabad.
Natarajan, who came in as a net bowler on the Australia tour, becomes the first Indian player to make debuts in all 3 formats – T20I, ODI, and Test – on the same tour after he made his maiden appearance for India in the limited-overs matches.
In the absence of senior pacers, the 29-year-old shared the new ball with Mohammed Siraj and was impressive in his opening spell despite not taking a wicket as he got the ball to swing and seam keeping the scoreboard in check.
T Natarajan broke the 113-run partnership between Matthew Wade and Marnus Labuschagne. As both batsmen looked set to take Australia to a huge total, the speedster sent them back with the short ball. He returned towards the end of the innings to clean up Josh Hazlewood.
Best figures in debut innings by a left-arm seamer (India):
4/89 RP Singh v Pakistan Faisalabad 2005/06
3/78 T NATARAJAN v Australia Brisbane 2020/21 *
3/97 SS Nyalchand v Pakistan Lucknow 1952/53