Becoming the first Indian cricketer to make his international debut across all three formats during the same tour, T Natarajan was one of the success stories for India in Australia. After his debuts in the ODI and T20I series, the fast bowler made his Test debut in the fourth and final Test match against the Aussies in Brisbane. India went on to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in dramatic fashion, winning the thriller at the Gabba. Natarajan received widespread praise from fans and pundits for his performance. Speaking at his hometown of Salem in Tamil Nadu, the 29-year-old credited his India teammates for giving him the motivation and supporting him throughout the tour. “Other players supported me in the dressing room. Their motivation and support helped me”, said the left-arm pacer, who was given a rousing reception on his return to his hometown.
The Indian cricket team was dogged by numerous injuries during the tour, with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari being added to the list before the final Test.
Due to the absence of senior pacers, a lot of pressure and responsibility fell on the shoulders of India’s young pacers.
“I was under pressure to perform, when the opportunity was offered,” he said.
“My only thought was to take wickets”, he added.
He made his international debut in the third ODI against Australia on December 2, 2020. India won the match by 13 runs, and Natarajan took two wickets.
He also played in the T20I series, which India won 2-1. He added to his international wicket tally, by taking six wickets during the series.
In the fourth and final Test match, he scalped three dismissals.
“It was like a dream to take Australian wickets”, said Natarajan.
Also, Natarajan and his wife were blessed with a child while the 2020 Indian Premier League was going on. Due to the bio-bubble in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Natarajan wasn’t by the side of his wife during the child’s birth.
He was playing for SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH), and right after the tournament, he left for the Australia tour. It was only after the culmination of the tour, that he returned home and met his child for the first time.
“More than the newborn, my wife and I were proud that I could play for my country”, he said.
“Hard work will never go to waste. It is always rewarding,” he added.
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