India and Australia played out a thriller in Sydney with Hardik Pandya showcasing his unmatched ability with a couple of hard hits in the last over to help India to a series win. However, the biggest positive for the day had to be T Natarajan who bowled his heart out and adapted to the situation.
Natarajan is here to stay
T Natarajan came to the IPL 2020 as a breath of fresh air and landed yorkers with an insane regularity that left everyone awestruck. He was rightfully picked to be in that plane for Australia and almost dramatically made his India debut in Canberra. Life happened so fast in those few days that he would’ve been forgiven for a few overs of absolute mediocrity but Nattu crushed it right on the face for three consecutive golden performances. Three wickets in the first T20I to complement his two-wicket burst in the third ODI at the Manuka Oval showed Nattu’s promise, but on a day runs flew like anything, the man from Salem was in his ailments. Not only he bowled those famous yorkers to perfection, he showed the facet of his organic adaptability by mixing up his length to extend his reportiere. Nattu is showing signs of peaking which will hold India in good stead when they plan to manage Jasprit Bumrah’s workload alongside providing something unique with his left-arm.
Sridhar’s contract needs to be reviewed
Sanjay Bangar held accountable for Indian team management’s lack of clarity in the World Cup and had to leave just after the Windies assignment. Ravi Shastri went on thanks to his success in Australia but can anyone tell me has there ever been anyone whose backroom performance has slipped under the radar than R Sridhar. Not only has the Indian ground-fielding standard dropped massively, but their catching has also been shambolic in recent times. Lockdown can’t be an excuse, at least anymore but this has been a recurring problem among Indian cricketers who are dropping catches more than Virat Kohli uses the word “intent”. Kohli himself dropped a sitter at short mid-wicket while Hardik Pandya failed to reach a rather difficult one but that could not be an excuse when you’re operating at this level. The fielding coach needs to get the act together or come up with better plans!
Samson doesn’t convert but he is important to the Indian team
I have always been a big fan of an in-form Sanju Samson’s batting but have always taken him with a pinch of salt whenever he hits a six at the start of the innings. Like almost every Indian fan, it tells me that a dismissal is just around the corner which has never made him a good contender for a regular spot in the Indian side. However, as international cricket returned after a long time, it’s prudent to look at him from a different prism. Samson might not score briskly but the fundamental to his batting lay in breaking the shackle which is not provided by either of Shreyas Iyer or Manish Pandey in the shortest version of the game. After Kohli started slow, it was imperative to get the ball rolling which was done by Samson with a four and a six on two consecutive balls. This attitude sets him apart from the rest.