Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has backed T Natarajan to play in the third Test match against Australia at the SCG as the fast bowler can add variety as a left-arm pacer.
Natarajan had impressed with his skills in the white ball series against Australia. The left-arm fast bowler had scalped two wickets on his ODI debut.
Subsequently, Natarajan finished as the leading wicket-taker in the T20I series as he scalped six wickets in three matches. The fast bowler from Tamil Nadu, impressed with his skills to execute the yorkers and showed that he has all the weapons in his armoury.
Natarajan had scalped 16 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2020 and it had helped him break into the national team. As Umesh Yadav was ruled out of the Test series due to calf injury, Natarajan was added to the Test squad. Initially, Natarajan was picked only as a net bowler for the Australian tour.
Meanwhile, there will be a fight for the third seamer between Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan. Saini has the pace under his belt whereas Thakur has shown the skills to move the ball. Natarajan doesn’t have express pace but he has control in his bowling.
Gilchrist wrote in his column for Mid-Day, “It would be an interesting call to make between Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan. The latter would have my vote because, as mentioned earlier in the series, I think he would add variety as a left-arm pacer and would also leave some handy footmarks for Ravichandran Ashwin to exploit. Natarajan and Saini have both had some time in the middle during the one-dayers, and it would be interesting to see who among them will make his debut.”
Natarajan can be a X-Factor in the final XI as he will bring a different angle to the crease. However, the 29-year old has played only 20 first-class matches in which he has scalped 64 wickets at an average of 27.03. Thus, it would be interesting to note India’s playing combination in the third Test match.
Mohammed Siraj made an impressive Test debut at the MCG as he scalped five wickets. Either Saini or Natarajan can make their debuts at the SCG and it would be interesting to note team management’s call. The third Test match will take place at the SCG from tomorrow.