T Natarajan was one of the bright faces everyone witnessed in IPL 2020. Known for his yorkers, he picked up crucial wickets in the tournament and a lot of big guns like AB de Villiers could not put him away often too.
Because of his performance, he was roped in for the Australian tour which will be his first of many perhaps. Indian legend VVS Laxman, however, made a big claim recently. Laxman feels that Natarajan will be India's X- Factor in the upcoming ICC WT20, which will be held in India in October 2021. He believes what he said because of the player's ability to bowl at the death and his left-arm angle.
VVS was T Natarajan's mentor in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Having worked with him on a daily basis made Laxman feel that Natarajan is special.
"With the T20 World Cup scheduled next year, if you look at the Indian team, it requires someone good at the death. It is great to see the likes of Mohammad Shami and Navdeep Saini to bowl with such confidence in the death, Natarajan being a left-arm will be the X-Factor," Laxman told The Hindu.
The Sunrisers pacer learned bowling the yorker while playing soft-ball cricket with his pals in his hometown, Salem as the only way to prevent the bowl from losing pace when it hit the clay surfaces was to bowl full as they usually played on clay surfaces. He fired 71 yorkers in the IPL 2020 as per Espncricinfo's ball-by-ball data and he was miles ahead of Kartik Tyagi who was second on the list with 28.
The left-arm pacer picked 16 wickets with an economy of 8.02 in the tournament, very impressive considering that he bowled 131 out of 377 balls towards the death (last for overs).
Laxman then spoke about T Natarajan's attitude which was pretty solid right from the practice sessions before the IPL commenced and that's the reason he was picked up before Khaleel Ahmed.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury played a role too as the bowler showed promise right from the beginning and had missed out in the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvi, and Sandeep Sharma's perfect balance.
T Natarajan was very impactful in the Ramil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) too and his numbers with Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy were vital in his selection.
Featured image credits - sportsindiashow.com