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Surreal: Natarajan on India debut

By Rediff Cricket
December 03, 2020 18:06 IST
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Thangarasu Natarajan celebrates on dismissing Marnus Labuschagne in the 3rd ODI at Manuka Oval on Wednesday

IMAGE: Thangarasu Natarajan celebrates dismissing Marnus Labuschagne in the 3rd ODI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, December 2, 2020, his first wicket in international cricket. Photograph: Kind courtesy Natarajan/Twitter

'It was a surreal experience to represent the country. Thanks to everyone for your wishes. Looking forward for more challenges,' Thangarasu Natarajan, the shy pacer from Aalem in Tamil Nadu, tweeted after playing his first game for India at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.

The left-armer speedster was one of the discoveries at IPL 2020. Playing for the SunRisers Hyderabad, he bowled yorkers at will, and his ball to dismiss the mighty A B De Villiers in the Eliminator game was arguably the ball of the IPL playoffs.

After having shaved off his IPL beard, Natarajan is unrecognisable from the bowler whom rival batsmen treated with caution during the world's top T20 league.

First included in India's T20 team for the Australia series, he was later added to the ODI side after pacer Navdeep Saini complained of a back spasm.

Last week, he proudly showed off his India jersey, noting, 'That special feel of wearing this special jersey #TeamIndia #TrustInDreams'.

In his debut game on Wednesday, he had figures of 2-70 in his 10 overs including a maiden while claiming the big wicket of Marcus Labuschagne and then Ashton Agar to help derail Australia's run chase.

If he bowls his lethal yorkers with the same guile as he did in the IPL, Natarajan can look forward to better figures during the T20 series.

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