The Tamil Nadu lad, T. Natarajan is currently at the peak of his career with the success of IPL and his dream ODI debut against Australia.
In the IPL Natarajan took many important wickets for the team when needed the most, with an admirable tally of 16 wickets in 16 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad. This instantly brought him into the limelight and eyes of the selectors for the upcoming tour of Australia.
Later on, Natarajan was selected for the tour of Australia as an additional bowler along with Kartik Tyagi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti but soon was called up as a replacement for Varun Chakravarthy in the squad for T20Is but got his early chance to perform in the third ODI in the series because Shami was given rest.
Even at the end of the three-match T20I series against Australia, which India won, Hardik Pandya, the Man of the Series in a sweet gesture dedicated it to Natarajan and also said that he was outstanding.
Natarajan belongs from a humble background, who has seen struggle most of his life. His father, a handloom weaver and his mother, a roadside chicken shop owner. Belonging from a poor background sometimes there were situations when there was no food in the home, said Natarajan in an interview. Even due to the lack of infrastructure in his village, it was hard to find cricket equipment, for two years he ran barefoot.
Natarajan who is known for his good and lethal yorkers practised a lot with a tennis ball and later on after learning with a cricket ball, he debuted for Tamil Nadu in Ranji but was reported for suspect action when he hit a roadblock. After that, he took a year off to improvise but was a hard year for him as he couldn’t play cricket.
Eventually, after improvisation in his action, he found success in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. In the season 2016, he took 10 wickets in 7 games and also bowled six consecutive yorkers in a super over. After his impressive performance in TNPL, he had a good Ranji season. Eventually, it led to a bid of Rs 3 crore from Kings XI Punjab in 2017. But with an average performance, he was released by KXIP and was again brought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 40 Lacs next season, though he did not play in 2018 and 2019 season, but he kept improving and working on developing an inswinger and strengthening his body to bowl quicker. But in IPL 2020 he won his captain’s trust, a season which changed his life.
Natarajan didn’t stop dreaming even during his bad days and kept working hard for his dream and finally, he fulfilled it. It is true that hard work always pays off!