Everyone was asking questions when I picked T Natarajan in KXIP squad: Virender Sehwag

Sehwag went on to state that a few Tamil Nadu players played a crucial role in the inclusion of the yorker master in the KXIP squad.

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Thangarasu Natarajan
Thangarasu Natarajan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Tamil Nadu pacer T Natarajan was picked by Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2017 season after he had a brilliant TNPL season that year. In that particular season, Natarajan got to play 6 IPL games and went on to pick only two wickets, thus raising questions on his inclusion in the team.

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag was picked as KXIP’s head of cricket operations at that point in time. The legendary opener disclosed that there were many questions raised by critics for Natarajan’s inclusion in KXIP’s team. He revealed it while answering a fan’s query on Sony Sports Network.

“I was very happy because when I had picked Natarajan in the IPL for the Kings XI Punjab, everyone was asking questions that this player has come who has not even played domestic cricket and came after playing just the TNPL league, so how he was picked at such a huge price,” Sehwag told Sony Sports Network.

Sehwag went on to state that a few Tamil Nadu players played a crucial role in the inclusion of the yorker master in the KXIP squad. Sehwag watched a lot of videos of Natarajan at that point in time and thought of picking him in the auction without looking back. He was bought for INR 3 crore in IPL 2017 Auction.

“I was not bothered about the money but there is a talent. We had a few Tamil Nadu players in our team at the time who told me that he is a very good player who bowls very well in the slog overs and delivers a perfect yorker.”

I saw his videos and then decided to pick him: Virender Sehwag

KXIP went on to win only seven matches in that IPL season and managed to take the fifth slot on the points table, failing to qualify for the playoffs. Though Natarajan picked just two wickets in the six games he played in that season, he played a crucial role in KXIP’s victories.

“I saw his videos and then decided that we will surely take him at the auction because we did not have a death bowler. Unfortunately, that year, he had an injury to the elbow or the knee because of which he could not play too many matches. But we won only the matches that he played in and lost all the other matches.”

Sehwag was surprised to see Natarajan in the ODI team well before making his T20I debut and he was very excited to see the pacer getting an opportunity in the Indian XI. Sehwag went on to wish good luck to the pacer for his future games.

“So I was very excited to see that he was getting an opportunity although I was thinking that he would be given a chance in the T20Is but it was a surprise for me that he was played in the ODIs. But whatever happened was good. All the best to T Natarajan. I hope that he keeps on doing well from here and makes his place in the Indian team,” Sehwag concluded.

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