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Apart from vegetables, I started consuming a lot of meat: T Natarajan

The diet seems to have worked for Natarajan.

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. (Photo Source: TNPL)

Tamil Nadu’s T Natarajan is just another example of Indian Premier League’s (IPL) rags-to-riches stories. The left-arm pacer became a household name after getting an IPL deal that was 30 times his base price of INR 10 lakh. As a result, he became the highest-paid uncapped Indian player. Born to Thangarasu, a daily-wage worker in the weaving industry and Shantha, a meat seller, Natarajan was bought for INR 3 crore by Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2017.

Natarajan had caught the eyeballs after his impressive outing in the inaugural season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League. Playing for Dindigul Dragons, he took 10 wickets in seven matches, including a four-wicket haul, at an average of 19.80 and economy rate of 7.33. His best performance came in a Super Over against Tuti Patriots when he nailed six yorkers on the trot.

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However, he failed to live up to the hype and expectations. He played just six IPL games and managed two wickets. His miseries were further compounded when an injury kept him on the sidelines for almost five months.  He, however, was fortunate to land another IPL deal as he was bought for his base price of INR 40 lakh this year by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 season. But this year’s tournament was even more disappointing for him as he did not play a single game.

Focus on body

Well, in order to get accustomed to the rigours of fast-bowling, Natarajan has started putting efforts on his body. The Tamil Nadu pacer is binging on country chicken to add more muscles. In a recent interview with the New Indian Express, he revealed he is focussing on a healthy diet.

“I don’t have restrictions on diet and am eating healthy. Apart from vegetables, I started consuming a lot of meat. Especially the naatu kozhi (country chicken) we get in Salem. It’s rich in quality. I was very thin when I started out. I have realised that one needs more energy to play a long season,” said the left-armer.

The diet seems to have worked for Natarajan as he is in fine form with the ball in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. So far, he has picked up 13 wickets in three games including the 8-fer against Kerala that helped him bag the Man of the Match award. He has also added a lethal in-swinger to his armoury. Speaking about it, he said he was advised by legendary Muttiah Muralitharan to work on in-swingers.

“I started working after IPL and it has come good so far. Muralitharan sir said I get out-swingers naturally and to be a better bowler, I should bowl in-swingers too. I discussed with Bala anna (TN bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji) and he gave tips. We worked on my wrist position. Since I worked on out-swingers also in pre-season, I was confident going into Ranji matches,” said Natarajan.

~ Written by Bijoy

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