India vs Australia: When Virat Kohli handed me T20 trophy, I had tears in my eyes, says T Natarajan
T. Natarajan, who became the first Indian cricketer to make debut across formats during the Australia tour, has revealed that he had tears in his eyes when skipper Virat Kohli handed over the Twenty20
T. Natarajan, who became the first Indian cricketer to make debut across formats during the Australia tour, has revealed that he had tears in his eyes when skipper Virat Kohli handed over the Twenty20 (T20) trophy to him after winning the series 2-1.
After impressing with his performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the UAE, the left-arm medium-pacer was picked as a net bowler for India's Down Under tour 2020-21. As a result of a series of injury issues in the Indian camp, Natarajan received a debut in all three formats.
With six wickets in three T20Is, Natarajan finished the series as the leading wicket-taker. He bagged a wicket from the one One-day International (ODI) he played in Australia. Meanwhile, in the four-Test series, Natarajan was drafted in India's playing XI for the fourth and final Test at the Gabba. He became India's 300th Test cap, while he returned with three wickets on his maiden Test outing.
"When Kohli handed over the trophy to me after the T20 series win, I had tears in my eyes. Having played in the IPL and played alongside many Indian and foreign players helped as that experience was useful. I could communicate with them and learn from them. First, it was tough but as things went on, I was able to pick up many things.
I was keen to do my job. But I didn't expect to get an opportunity in the ODIs, was not expecting to make my debut in Australia. When I was told that I will be playing there was pressure. I wanted to make use of the opportunity. Playing and taking a wicket was like a dream," Natarajan was quoted by news agency PTI, as saying in Tamil.
"I cannot express my happiness in words about playing for India. It was like a dream. I got a lot of support from the coaches, players. They supported and motivated me a lot. I was able to perform well because of their backing. My first aim was to play for Tamil Nadu, step by step everything happened, it was like a dream. Hard work is the key, it will take one places. I thank Almighty for everything.
Other players supported me in the dressing room. Their motivation and support helped me. I was under pressure to perform when the opportunity was offered. My only thought was to take wickets. It was like a dream to take Australian wickets," Natarajan told reporters in Chinnappampatti in Salem district.
Natarajan, who flew directly from the UAE to Australia, also missed the birth of his first child.
"More than the newborn, my wife and I were proud that I could play for my country. Hard work will never go to waste. It is always rewarding," the 29-year-old bowler added.
Natarajan also said that his SRH captain David Warner had good things to say about him. "Warner said he was very proud of me. He was happy to see my progress. He told me during the match that you are very lucky and told me that I was doing well because my daughter had been born," Natarajan, who recently received a grand welcome in his home town of Salem upon his arrival from Australia, said.