T Natarajan reveals MS Dhoni’s golden advice he received in IPL 2020
T Natarajan will be looking to put up another impressive performance in IPL 2021.
Updated - Apr 7, 2021 4:25 pm
T Natarajan had a brilliant outing in the last edition of the IPL. Such was his performance in the competition that his Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner had called him the find of the season. The left-arm pacer had impressed one and all with his ability to bowl accurate yorkers at will at any stage of the game.
Natarajan played a key role in SRH’s run to the playoffs. He picked up 16 wickets in IPL 2020. The impressive performance helped him earn a place in India’s squad as a net bowler for the tour of Australia. But he went on to make his debut in all three formats after injuries to other players. Natarajan impressed in Australia too, helping India win the T20I and the Test series.
The Tamil Nadu ace will be eyeing to live up to the expectations in the upcoming season too. And ahead of the new season, he has revealed the advice he received from MS Dhoni that helped him improve his bowling. Natarajan had managed to dismiss Dhoni in the last IPL and spoke about that special dismissal too.
“I pitched one in the slot and he hit me for a big six – 102 metres or something. On the next ball, I got his wicket and didn’t celebrate. I was just thinking about that previous ball. After coming back to the dressing room, though, I was happy,” T Natarajan told ESPNcricinfo.
MS Dhoni’s advice to T Natarajan
T Natarajan further revealed that he had a chat with Dhoni after the game ended and the latter gave him some valuable tips. Natarajan revealed that Dhoni encouraged him and told him that he would get better with experience. Dhoni had also advised the pacer to use all his variations to become more effective with the ball.
“After finishing the match, I also had a chat with him. Speaking to somebody like Dhoni itself is a big thing. He spoke to me about fitness and encouraged me, saying that I will keep getting better with experience. He said, use slow bouncers, cutters, and variations like that. It has been useful for me,” said T Natarajan.
Natarajan also spoke about his role for SRH in the upcoming season. The fast-bowler stated that he is well aware of his responsibilities. He also said that the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be helpful to him in pressure situations. In the 2020 edition, Bhuvneshwar was ruled out early in the tournament with an injury.
“I know I will have to do the job 100 percent. I will have to focus on not missing my length and have a clear plan for that scenario. If I miss my length, I am aware that I will be taken for runs. I have bowled under pressure in the past, so all of those experiences will help me this season. Bhuvi is back and in form, so he will share his thoughts when I’m under pressure,” Natarajan said.
“Our team has good communication and it’s like a family. Even if I give runs, the team management backs me, so that gives me the confidence that I can come back. I’ve also never played an IPL game at Chepauk. I think Vijay Shankar has played IPL in Chennai, but this will be the first time for me in Chennai. I’ve played a lot of cricket at my home ground, so it will be nice to play in Chennai,” he added.