T Natarajan – The Rising Star of Indian Cricket Team

When opportunity knocks on your door, always be willing to take a chance. That is what T. Natarajan did. Here is a story just beginning on the life and achievements of Thangarasu Natarajan. Better known as T Natarajan, he is an Indian cricketer from Salem, Tamil Nadu, and a rising star among Indian cricketers. The son of poor parents, Natarajan played cricket on the streets only as a distraction and relief to escape from the realities of a poverty-ridden life. His journey has taken him from the dusty lanes of Chinnappampatti, a hamlet near Salem, to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Indian cricket team. He made his international debut for the India cricket team in December 2020. He is the Indian team left-arm fast-medium bowler and one of their most promising stars.

Early life 

Born on the 27th of May, 1991, in Chinnappampatti, a village near Salem in Tamil Nadu, Natarajan is the eldest of five children – three sisters and two brothers. His father S. Thangarasu, is believed to have worked as a laborer while his mother ran a small roadside food stall to provide for the family. Just like every other Indian kid Natarajan also played gully cricket with a tennis ball.

One day a well-wisher from his village spotted his skill as a bowler and asked Natarajan to take up cricket as a career. Motivated by the words and the help he received, Natarajan moved to Chennai and joined a cricket club located in the city. The rest is history. 

As Natarajan began to train and play cricket, his bowling prowess caught the attention of A Jayaprakash, a division cricketer. Natarajan started to play for the BSNL team in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association fourth division league. Soon he shifted to Vijay Cricket Club and then to Jolly Rovers, a club that has produced well-known cricketers like Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay.

Natarajan made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy on the 5th of January, 2015. In this match, he took three wickets in the first innings itself. T Natarajan, the bowler, had just arrived. On January 29 2016, he made a breakthrough when he represented Dindigul Dragons in the inaugural game of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). By September of 2018, he made his List A debut for Tamil Nadu in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. 

Image credits: Indian Express

The game-changer

The IPL was a game-changer for Natarajan. He joined the million-dollar club when Kings XI Punjab picked him up for INR 3 crores in 2017. He played in six games in his debut IPL season and picked up two wickets. After a mediocre season with KXIP, Natarajan was traded to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 for INR 40 lakhs, the team to which he still belongs.

Image credits: Quora

The Indian cricket team

On 26 October 2020, Natarajan was selected as one of four additional bowlers to travel with the Indian cricket team on their Australia tour. On 9 November 2020, he was again added to India’s Twenty20 International (T20I) team to replace Varun Chakravarthy, who had suffered an injury. Ahead of the first One Day International (ODI) match, he was the cover for Navdeep Saini, who was suffering from a back spasm. Natarajan made his ODI debut for India against Australia on 2 December 2020, taking his first international wicket, dismissing Marnus Labuschagne. He made his T20I debut for India, also against Australia, on 4 December 2020, taking three wickets for thirty runs. On 30 December 2020, Natarajan was included in India’s Test squad ahead of the third match against Australia. He made his Test debut against Australia on 15 January 2020, dismissing Matthew Wade for his first international Test wick.

(Information reference Wikipedia)

Career Statistics

  • Test debut vs Australia at The Gabba, Jan 15, 2021
  • Last Test vs Australia at The Gabba, Jan 15, 2021
  • ODI debut vs Australia at Manuka Oval, Dec 02, 2020
  • Last ODI vs Australia at Manuka Oval, Dec 02, 2020
  • T20 debut vs Australia at Manuka Oval, Dec 04, 2020
  • Last T20 vs Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, Dec 08, 2020
  • IPL debut vs Rising Pune Supergiant at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Apr 08, 2017
  • Last IPL vs Delhi Capitals at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Nov 08, 2020

(Information credit cricbuzz)

Here is a cricketer who has only recently come into the limelight with his game. Hope he has a long inning ahead making India proud. Good Luck, T Natarajan.