IPL 2021: “He encouraged me saying that I will get better” – T Natarajan recalls talking to MS Dhoni

T Natarajan dismissed MS Dhoni in a match during the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.

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MS Dhoni and T Natarajan
MS Dhoni and T Natarajan

T Natarajan‘s rise in cricket was one of the stories of the last year which has continued into this year as well. The Tamil Nadu pacer made waves in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by bowling yorker after yorker and troubling even the best of batsmen including MS Dhoni and AB de Villiers. He was then rewarded with a call-up to the national team for the tour of Australia.

Thanks to various injuries in the squad, the left-armer went on to represent India across all three formats in Australia. He impressed in every match that he bowled and made a case for himself to be considered as a mainstay in at least the limited-overs setup. Natarajan then went on to play in the limited-overs leg of the series against England where he impressed in a last-over thriller in the final ODI. He will now look to continue shining for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2021.

T Natarajan speaks on talking to MS Dhoni during IPL 2020

T Natarajan
T Natarajan

T Natarajan spoke to ESPNcricinfo about facing MS Dhoni and talking to him saying, “He hit me for a big six – 102 metres or something. The next ball I got his wicket and didn’t celebrate. I was just thinking about that previous ball. After finishing the match, I also had a chat with him. Speaking to him itself is a big thing. He spoke to me about fitness and encouraged me, saying that I will get better with experience. He said, use slow bouncers, cutters, and variations like that. It has been useful for me.”

Speaking about the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise, “Our team has good communication and it’s like a family. Even if I give runs, the team management backs me, so that gives me the confidence that I can come back. I’ve also never played an IPL game at Chepauk. I think Vijay Shankar has played IPL in Chennai, but this will be the first time for me in Chennai. I’ve played a lot of cricket at my home ground, so it will be nice to play in Chennai,” Natarajan said.

SRH will open their IPL 2021 campaign against the Kolkata Knight Riders on the 11th of April.

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