I AM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I haven’t been able to write much on here as I have been constantly writing essays during these past few months for college applications. Finally……..it’s over 😅
Although I haven’t been active on WordPress these days, I was able to closely watch IPL and the Australia Tour that currently happening at the moment.
Today, I will be focusing on the rise of Thangarasu Natarajan, a rising bowler that shined for India during the ODI and the T-20 format of the Australia Tour. This blog will be a motivational one and will focus on his journey to where he is today!!!
Note: Before I begin, I just want to say that these facts are narrated by Natarajan himself through a series of multiple interviews which happened to be in Tamil. So, I just want to share them to you all in English for those who don’t understand the language.
His Early Days in Chinnappampatti
Natarajan was born in a small village named Chinnappampatti—35 km from a city called Salem in the state of Tamil Nadu. His father ran a power loom and his mother ran a chicken shop. Living conditions in his village was quite harsh and his family was no exception. From education to food, Natarajan’s family could barely afford anything. Natarajan, being the eldest son, had 3 sisters and a brother.
The Rise of his Mentor: Jayaprakash
Natarajan used to love cricket since his youngest days and used to watch the older kids play from the sidelines. The man who coached that team recognized Natarajan and slowly allowed him to play: Jayaprakash. Years went by and Natarajan’s bowling talent increased as he began to get more chances.
During his college life, Natarajan’s family were at a critical financial situation where they couldn’t afford lunch and Natarajan’s college fees. There were days when Natarajan would only ask ₹5 for the bus ticket.
This was the moment when Jayaprakash spoke to Natarajan’s parents and took him under his wing. He took him to Chennai where Natarajan joined a local club. This was the first time in Natarajan’s life where he even left his hometown.
Suspected Bowling Action
His performance continued to improve where Natarajan became one of the few players to get selected in the Ranji Trophy without playing any league like Under 16, Under 19 or Under 23.
Although Natarajan and his parents were really happy, they never saw this striking news coming…
During the 2014 Ranji Trophy Season, BCCI convicted Natarajan’s bowling action to be suspicious which almost stopped his career.
Completely in despair and confusion, Natarajan got up and began to work with BCCI for almost an entire year so that he could correct his bowling action.
Natarajan’s Turning Point
After spending an entire year correcting his action, Natarajan was doubtful on making into another Ranji Trophy Season.
It was during this time where the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) came into action. This gave Natarajan confidence where a franchise called the Dindigul Dragons bought him in 2016.
Natarajan On The Big Screen
His amazing performance in TNPL and yorker perfections was highly recognized by various IPL franchises. Specifically, Virendra Sehwag—KXIP Mentor—was highly convinced on buying Natarajan were they managed to grab him for ₹3 Crores.
Although he had some support in the team, the language barrier kept him from reaching his potential as he wasn’t fluent in both English and Hindi. Although he played a few matches, he was mostly benched during the 2017 IPL Season.
Another Blow for Natarajan
During the end of 2017, Natarajan faced another obstacle as he went through an elbow surgery in Mumbai. After the surgery, he went through a 6-week rehab in Chennai.
Knowing that IPL Auctions occur during January, he had low hopes for KXIP to retain him as he wasn’t in perfect shape to play.
👇 These were Natarajan’s words during this incident 👇
“After examining reports, I was told that it was not advisable to carry on with the existing condition as the issue is with my bowling hand. Thus, I have been asked to undergo an elbow arthroscopic surgery. I will be heading to Mumbai on Thursday and the surgery is on 24th. The last month or so has been quite tough for me. However, the TNCA has guided and supported me exceptionally through these difficult times.” —Thangarasu NatarajanStated On Cricbuzz
A 2nd Chance in IPL
Although his opportunities were low, SRH decided to buy him in the 2018 IPL Auction for ₹40 Lakhs.
Since SRH was always known as a reputed bowling team, Natarajan didn’t get much chances during the 2018 and 2019 IPL Campaigns.
Nevertheless, he was able to find a great community inside the team as he found more people who spoke the tamil language along with mentors like VVS Laxman and bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan supporting him along the way.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Natarajan never wasted a second and decided to put some weights on his house’s rooftop. I saw some of his Instagram videos from his workout and it was truly inspirational. At a time when a lot of cricketers lost their cricket touch, Natarajan never lost his focus.
During the 2020 IPL Season, Natarajan was given chances early in the tournament where Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury also paved the way for a permanent slot in the team.
He ended up earning the name as the “NEW YORKER KING” where the number of yorkers were simply off the charts. He also ended his season with the wickets of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and AB De Villiers.
An Unseen Opportunity Through Injuries
When the Australia Tour squad was released, Natarajan was unfortunately nowhere to be found. However, Varun Chakravarthy’s injury opened up a spot for Natarajan to join as a net bowler.
Unfortunately, Natarajan’s first baby was almost due at the time where he was never able to make the journey back home to see his baby.
Although he only traveled to Australia as a net bowler, another injury of Bumrah opened up a slot for the 3rd ODI against Australia. At this stage, India already lost the series and gave chances to new talents.
Natarajan didn’t fail to surprise Australia as he was the only Indian bowler in the series to actually take a wicket in the powerplay. His performance continued into the T20 series where he was a major force for winning that series.
Although Hardik Pandya won the man of the series award, he tweeted:
Once again, for the 3rd time, there are chances that Natarajan might get an opportunity in the 3rd Test series as Umesh Yadav has faced an injury.
This is only the beginning of Thangarasu Natarajan! The film is yet to come!!!
I WILL BE POSTING ANOTHER BLOG POST ON NATARAJAN’S LIFE REFLECTIONS. UNTIL THEN, TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS MAN’S LEGACY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you have any questions/thoughts about this Natarajan’s cricket journey or if you just had something to say, feel free to comment them down in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP.
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