India vs Australia: T Natarajan makes dream Test debut with two wickets in two overs – WATCH
- India vs Australia: The dream run continues for T Natarajan, who on Friday not only became India’s 300th Test cricketer but went on to make the occasion even special with his maiden Test wicket.
The dream run continues for T Natarajan, who on Friday not only became India’s 300th Test cricketer but went on to make the occasion even special with his maiden Test wicket. Natarajan, who replaced the injured Jasprit Bumrah in India’s Playing XI, dismissed Matthew Wade not long into the second session for 45 to get off the mark in Test cricket.
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With this, Natarajan completed a special treble. As he dismissed Wade out caught by Shardul Thakur at mid-on, Natarajan ensured he picked up a wicket in his first appearance in all three formats. And once he sent Wade packing, Natarajan brought India right back in the game with the wicket of centurion Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne made the most of India’s slightly shoddy fielding en route to a fifth Test century, first against India, but his innings came to an end shortly after as he top-edged the left-arm quick for Rishabh Pant to complete the catch. With two wickets in two overs, Natarajan emerged as India’s star of the day with the ball.
Natarajan was on the mark early. How early? Well, his first spell read 6-1-8-0. As India began leaking runs between lunch and tea, with Australia at one stage scoring 75 runs from 16 overs, India were desperately in need of a wicket. Shardul Thakur, playing his second Test, leaked runs at 4.5 runs an over, while Mohammed Siraj was being hit at over 3. With Navdeep Saini off the ground injured, India’s bowling stocks once again appeared hampered, but Natarajan’s timely blows gave India the breakthrough they so desperately needed.
It is interesting to note that Natarajan wasn’t even a first-choice preference for any of the three Indian squads that were initially named for the tour of Australia. He came in for the injured Varun Chakravarthy in the T20 squad before being named Saini’s back up, who had complained of back spasms. Having stayed back with the team as a nets bowlers, the left-arm fast bowler was recently named part of India’s Test squad once Umesh Yadav was ruled out due to a calf injury.
On his ODI debut, Natarajan finished with 2/70, picking up the wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Ashton Agar as India won the final ODI by 13 runs. He subsequently played all three T20Is, picking up six wickets. And fittingly enough, he was India’s sharpest bowler on Day 1 of the Brisbane Test.