T Natarajan’s story in India’s tour of Australia was without a doubt one of the most remarkable stories in cricketing folklore. After being picked as a net bowler, injuries to a huge amount of fellow pacers meant Natarajan not only got to make his debut but also played a key role in India’s wins across all three formats. In the process, he also became the first Indian to make his debut in all three formats in the same tour.
Natarajan is from a small town in Salem, Tamil Nadu. The left-arm pacer hadn’t taken up cricket until after he was 20. His experience with tennis ball cricket, according to himself, became the reason for his ability to bowl accurate yorkers. His performances in the TNPL and subsequently in the IPL led to the national selectors noticing him and selecting him for the all-important tour of Australia.
‘Cricket is not just a game’
After Natarajan’s scintillating performances in the tour of Australia, he returned home today and was given a grand hero’s welcome by members of his town in Salem. A video of the same has gone viral on social media and former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has taken note of the same and posted the video captioning it, “This is aindia. Here cricket bis not just a game. It is so much more. #natarajan getting a grand welcome upon his arrival at his Chinnappampatti village in Salem district. What a story. (sic)”
T Natarajan’s first child – a daughter was born while he was in the bio-bubble and will now meet her for the first time. The pacer has not been named in the squad for the first two Tests against England.