From not picking up a cricket ball till the age of 20 to representing the country in a One-day International nine years later, T Natarajan’s cricketing journey is a lesson for everyone that if you strive relentlessly in pursuit of your goal, stars conspire to fulfill your wishes.
Natarajan experienced that to the hilt in the ongoing ODI against Australia at the Manuka Oval where he not only realized his dream of representing the country but also managed to notch up his maiden international cricket.
Opening the bowling attack for India alongside pace-spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan provided the Men in Blue their first scalp in the powerplay after a long gap of 55 overs when he knocked over make-shift opener, Marnus Labuschagne.
Former SunRisers Hyderabad coach and someone who has witnessed T Natarajan from his initial days in the Indian Premier League, Tom Moody has heaped high praise on the Tamil Nadu pacer.
”The biggest challenge is coming to terms with the nerves of the big stage of international cricket. He has come from the backwaters of Chennai where he has learnt his craft. As we all know, it’s a terrific story,” Tom Moody told ESPNCricinfo.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the beginning of that story when we recruited him at Sunrisers 2-3 years ago, on the back of the T20 tournament. I like what he has got to offer,” he added.
‘His cutters could have been effective on Sydney surface’- Tom Moody on T Natarajan
Tom Moody went on to term T Natarajan as a ‘defensive bowler’; someone who thrives on building pressure on the batsman besides adding that he has got the necessary skills to outfox the batters with slower balls or his much-acclaimed yorker.
“I call Natarajan a defensive bowler. What he does is he builds pressure and when you are in the eye of the storm, he’s got the skills to shut the opponent down with his slower balls or yorkers, as he angles from the left-arm over,” Tom Moody said.
Moody further noted that India missed a trick by not playing T Natarajan in Sydney, adding that the fast bowler could have been real handy with his cutters on the surface at the SCG.
“India will welcome that when the runs are starting to leak, they have a good option and natural strong-defensive bowler. They could have used him in Sydney as well, his cutters could have been effective on Sydney surface,” he added.