Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India’s T Natarajan, second right, celebrates with teammate Yuzvendra Chahal after dismissing Australia’s Moises Henriques, left, during the second T20 international cricket match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020.(AP)
If Jasprit Bumrah was India’s find of the Australia tour in 2015-16 and Mayank Agarwal in 2018-19, this time around it has been Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer T Natarajan.
The 29-year-old seamer has been superb in the three limited-overs fixtures – an ODI and two T20Is – that he has played so far.
Natarajan’s fast rise in international cricket has impressed Australian great Glenn McGrath. The former Australia pacer said he was ‘very impressed’ with Natarajan and had no hesitation in terming him the ‘find’ for India in this tour.
“Was very impressed with Natarajan. He’s definitely the find of this tour for India, hopefully he continues,” McGrath said during commentary in the 2nd India-Australia T20I at the SCG.
Natarajan, who had a terrific IPL with the Sunirsers Hyderabad, picking 16 wickets in as many games, was the pick of the bowlers on Sunday. In a match where almost 400 runs were scored, Natarajan returned with figures of 2 for 20 in his full quota 4 overs.
McGrath also narrated how Natarajan has improved a lot from where he was when the Australian legend first met him in the MRF pace foundation a few years ago. McGrath said Natarajan has adapted quickly to the Australian surfaces and now he doesn’t have to rely on his yorkers alone to pick wickets.
India sealed the T20I series against Australia with a game to spare after a swashbuckling Hardik Pandya finished what Shikhar Dhawan had set out to achieve with a scintillating 36-ball 52 in the second and penultimate match here on Sunday. The visitors thus avenged their 1-2 ODI series loss, chasing down a challenging 195-run target in 19.4 overs with six wickets in hand. India won the opener in Canberra by 11 runs on Friday.
This was India’s 10th successive win away from home in T20 Internationals.
Needing 25 of the final 12 balls after fetching 12 in the 18th over, Pandya brought the equation down to 14 in the last over with two fours. The all-rounder then hit two sixes to seal the match in India’s favour and also claim the player of the match honours. Pandya remained unconquered on 42 off 22 balls.
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