Photo of Indian pacer Mohammed Shami and captain Virat Kohli(Twitter)
Photo of Indian pacer Mohammed Shami and captain Virat Kohli(Twitter)

India vs Australia: ‘India will be really tempted to have him,’ Manjrekar names bowler who can replace Mohammed Shami in shorter formats

Manjrekar feels that Natrajan’s consistency may put some pressure on Mohammed Shami, who failed to leave an impact in the first two ODIs that India lost to the host.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 06, 2020 12:18 AM IST

T Natarajan’s impressive debut has certainly rejuvenated the Indian pace attack in the series Down Under. His rise in the white-ball cricket has also caught the attention of cricket experts. Meanwhile, former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Natrajan’s consistency may put some pressure on Mohammed Shami, who failed to leave an impact in the first two ODIs that India lost to the host.

Natarajan made his debut in the third and the final ODI in Canberra and picked up a couple of wickets in the victorious cause. He also returned with magnificent figures of 3/30 in his maiden T20I against the Aussies on Friday.

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Following Natarajan’s excellence in the limited-overs games, Manjrekar opined that the Shami will now be under some pressure to maintain his spot in the shortest format.

“What he has done is he has put Mohammed Shami under pressure as a T20I bowler. Now India will be really tempted to have him along with Bumrah as one of his seamers,” Manjrekar said on Sony Six after India defeated Australia by 11 runs in the T20I series opener.

“This is a guy who can bowl at the death. If you have Bumrah and Natarajan, it just puts pressure on Shami because Chahar is from a different school of swing,” he added.

Natarajan hogged the limelight during his stint with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020 where he took 16 wickets in as many games. His ability of bowling lethal Yorkers and brilliance in the death overs turned out to be ticket to the Indian dressing room.

“It’s a great story purely because this is a guy who has come out of nowhere. Today, by playing his first T20I and bowling so well there was a wicket he took off a length ball of Maxwell. He is not a bowler who will get you wickets only with the Yorkers when the batsmen are trying to slog you,” said Manjrekar.

“I just find him amazing. A couple of years ago, who would have thought? He would not have imagined himself in his wildest dreams that he would be challenging the big boys for a place in the Indian team,” he further added.

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After leading the T20I rubber 1-0, India will now lock horns with the Aussies in the 2nd game, scheduled to take place on December 6 in Sydney.

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Brisbane : India's Shardul Thakur, left, celebrates the dismissal of Australia's Tim Paine, right, during play on day four of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. AP/PTI(AP01_18_2021_000018B)(AP)
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Mohammed Siraj of India celebrates the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne of Australia during day four of the fourth test match between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, January 18, 2021. AAP Image/Darren England via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT(via REUTERS)
Mohammed Siraj of India celebrates the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne of Australia during day four of the fourth test match between Australia and India at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, January 18, 2021. AAP Image/Darren England via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT(via REUTERS)

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