Pune: Former India captain and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar reckons it’s good to have Sunrisers Hyderabad’s left-arm pacer, T. Natarajan, in contention for making a comeback into the squad in the run-up to Men’s T20 World Cup later in the year in Australia.
After missing out on the second half of IPL 2021 due to Covid-19 and issues with his knee, Natarajan has been troubling the batters with toe crushing yorkers and tidy bowling in the death overs of IPL 2022, picking 15 wickets in eight matches at an average of 17.40 and economy rate of 8.41.
“It’s good to see him do well because for some time it seemed as if India had lost him. It’s good to have him back in contention because he bowls very well, particularly in between 16th and 20th over. He’ll be very much in contention (for Team India) for his ability to bowl well in the death overs,” said Gavaskar on Cricket Live show on Star Sports.
Gavaskar also believes that the Tamil Nadu pacer has put behind the disappointments of missing out on a large chunk of matches due to injuries as well as Covid-19 and is presenting a case for himself for selection in the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, a country where he made a sparkling debut in all formats of international cricket during the 2020/21 tour.
“I think it’s a matter of confidence. Last year, perhaps, he wasn’t on top of his game because of the injury situation. Right now he’s full of confidence, he’s had a bit of a break, and he’s fresh and raring to go. He recognises that there is a T20 World Cup in four months and he wants to be on that flight to Australia.”
Gavaskar further observed that in IPL 2022, Natarajan is now looking to swing the ball late apart from bowling his trademark yorkers. “He’s always been a yorker specialist but what we’ve seen in recent times is the way he’s managing to move the ball late which deceives the batsmen. So, it’s good to see that improvement in Natarajan.”