'Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane handled me well': T Natarajan
T Natarajan’s story is nothing short of a fairytale. He was not even a part of the initial Indian squad for any format for the Australia tour but ended up creating a record of being the only Indian player to make his debut in T20Is, ODIs, and Tests on the same tour.
The Tamil Nadu left-arm seamer was first picked in the India T20Is as a replacement of Varun Chakravarthy after the latter got injured. Natarajan grabbed his opportunity with both hands by returning as one of India’s most successful bowlers in the three-match T20I series against Australia.
He was asked to stay back for the ODIs but was handed his debut in the third ODI after India decided to rest Mohammed Shami.
"I was keen to do my job. I didn't expect to get an opportunity in the ODIs. When I was told that I will be playing there was pressure. I wanted to make use of the opportunity. Playing and taking a wicket was like a dream," Natarajan told reporters in Chinnappampatti in Salem district.
The left-arm pacer made his Test debut in the fourth and final match at Gabba which India won to seal a historic series win against Australia. Natarajan took three wickets in the match.
He said representing the country was a dream come true.
"I cannot express my happiness in words about playing for India...It was like a dream. I got a lot of support from the coaches, players. They supported and motivated me a lot. I was able to perform well because of their backing," he said in Tamil.
Natarajan also said he enjoyed playing under the captaincy of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, adding they both supported and encouraged him a lot.
"(Virat) Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane handled me very well.. they had positive things to say and encouraged me a lot. I enjoyed playing under both of them," he added.
(With PTI inputs)
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