Debutant T Natarajan turned out to be a hero for the Virat Kohli-led Team India in both the limited-overs series against Australia. His emergence and his story have inspired millions of people. Natarajan’s brilliant workers and death-overs bowling in IPL 2020 for Sunrisers Hyderabad earned him his maiden call-up for the Indian national side.
“I was suddenly given an opportunity – I didn’t expect to make my one-day debut there [Canberra],” Natarajan told reporters, according to Cricbuzz.
“Suddenly they [the management] told me that I would be playing and that was pressure for me. But I wanted to make the best use of this opportunity, so I shifted my focus to that. That [first] wicket and everything that followed seems like a dream to me,”
After team India won the T20I series 2-1, where Natarajan played an instrumental role, skipper Virat Kohli handed him the winning trophy during the celebrations. Expressing his feelings about the same, Natarajan said:
“I never expected it,” Natarajan said. “I didn’t expect Virat Kohli to come over and hand the trophy to me; I was just standing on the side. I teared up. When a legend like Kohli came in and gave the trophy over to me it was a great feeling – I can’t describe it.”
Natarajan also got an opportunity to make his debut in the longest format of the game for India, where he helped the team in winning the Gabba Test and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a 2-1 series win.
“It was quite difficult [missing the birth of my child], yes,” he said. “But, for my wife and my family, me representing the country gave them greater happiness.
“I never expected to get this kind of reception. I have to thank the people in my village,” Natarajan said.
He concluded by saying that the series was an unforgettable experience of his life. He said:
“It was an unforgettable experience in my life and I dreamt of making it big, hoping to bring recognition to Salem. It’s all god’s grace, and I’m so happy right now. There’s no limit to it and I just can’t describe that feeling. I just feel like being selected for the Australia tour was a gift for me,”