Swashbuckling Australian opener David Warner has heaped high praise on the latest Indian sensation and his SunRisers Hyderabad teammate T Natarajan following his successful foray in international cricket during the recently concluded tour Down Under.
T Natarajan has had a fairytale last three months where he not only went on to become the first Indian player to make his debut in all three formats of the game on a single tour but also turn heads with his precocious skills and steely temperament.
Natarajan wasn’t included in the original squads and was scheduled to travel to Australia only as a net bowler. However, as luck would have it, an injury to Varun Chakravarthy paved way for him to be included in the T20I team. But before he could make his debut in the shortest format of the game, he earned a call-up to the ODI squad after Navdeep Saini complained of a groin niggle.
He eventually made his India debut in the third ODI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra where he returned with decent figures of 2/70. The left-arm pacer displayed his talent to the hilt in the succeeding T20I series where he emerged as the leader of the attack in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. Natarajan finished with six wickets in three games and was held back to serve as a net bowler for the Test series.
And, as luck would once again have it, the southpaw got a shock Test call-up following a glut of injuries to India’s first-choice pacers ahead of the series decider in Brisbane. Natarajan impressed again as he claimed three crucial wickets in the first innings, including the prized scalp of centurion Marnus Labuschagne.
Speaking on Sports Today, David Warner was full of praise for his SRH teammate. Warner hailed T Natrajan as a great person on and off the field besides adding that he is lucky enough to captain the 29-year-old in the IPL.
”First thing I’d like to say is Vazhthukal Nattu, you’re an absolute legend. I’ve got so much time for you, you’re a great person on and off the field and I love having you in our team. Cheers!” David Warner said on Sports Today.
“I was fortunate enough to captain Nattu. He’s an amazing guy, humble and a true gentleman. What a talent he is, we’ve just seen a guy who played unbelievably well in the IPL 2020, going on tour with the Indian team as a net bowler while sacrificing being there for the birth of his first child and then making his debut in all forms… what a magnificent achievement,” he added.
‘I couldn’t be any happier and pleased for him’- David Warner on T Natarajan
T Natarajan emerged as the leader of the fast bowling attack for the SunRisers Hyderabad last season. Besides all the wickets that he took, it was his penchant for nailing yorkers at will that captured the imagination of the cricketing folklore. Natarajan, on expected terms, has been retrained by the Orange Army and, David Warner is looking forward to what the southpaw can offer in the upcoming season.
“I couldn’t be any happier and pleased for him. I’m very pleased and excited to see what he has to offer in this year’s IPL as well. He knows what he has to do, he knows how to bowl in certain situations.” David Warner said.
The way we used him – outside the powerplay, maybe an over in the powerplay and bowling alongside Rashid Khan in partnership worked very well. I think he bowled 80 yorkers in the tournament which is an exceptional display of death bowling whenever he did come on. I’m extremely excited to see what he brings to the table this year,” he said
Warner was also happy at the fact that T Natarajan got a hero’s welcome upon his return to his native village Salem.
“We saw first-hand yesterday the response that his home town gave him, it was extremely humbling to see. You had a guy there getting a thoroughly warm welcome for him and for what he’s achieved,” Warner said.