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T Natarajan was my hero of IPL, reckons Kapil Dev

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Natarajan bowled 71 Yorkers


T Natarajan was my hero of IPL, reckons Kapil Dev

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SportsCafe Desk


Kapil Dev has stated that the way T Natarajan bowled in the Indian Premier League to subsequently book his place in the Indian team for the tour of Australia made him his hero in the IPL. The former Indian skipper further asserted that split captaincy doesn’t work in Indian culture.

After four years of toiling and warming the bench, the IPL 2020 came as a blessing for Tamil Nadu’s T Natarajan who scalped 16 wickets at 31.50 while exhibiting his fine ability to dish out yorkers at will. Bowling 71 yorkers was just a stuff of dreams when you see the second man on the list Kartik Tyagi bowled only 28.

His work-ethic was duly awarded by the national selection committee who sent him as the stand-by for the Australian tour before he was added to the main squad to replace Varun Chakravarthy. Such has been his rise and the ability to bowl that legendary Kapil Dev called him his hero in the IPL 2020.

"I am not happy with fast bowlers (these days). The first ball cannot be cross seam. Players in IPL realised that swing is more important than pace. Sandeep (Sharma), who bowled 120 kph, was tougher because he was moving the ball. Bowlers have to understand it's not the pace, it's the swing. They should learn but are running away from art. T Natarajan was my hero of IPL. Young boy was fearless and bowling so many yorkers," Kapil said at the HT Leadership Summit which was held virtually.

After Rohit Sharma won the fifth IPL Trophy as a captain in eight years of leading Mumbai Indians, the call was for Rohit to be replaced as India’s white-ball skipper. It grew louder on the fact that Virat Kohli is yet to win a single trophy with Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, Kapil Dev is not a fan of such an idea as he believes the Indian culture is not as accustomed to split captaincy as much as other cultures are, which he feels, will add unnecessary conflict.

"In our culture it is not going to happen that way. In one company you make two CEOs? No. If Kohli is going to play T20s and he is good enough. Let him be there. Even though I would like to see other people coming out. But it's difficult.

"Our 80 per cent, 70 percent of the team across formats is the same team. They don't like captains having different theories. It may bring more differences between the players who look up to the captain. If you have two captains, players might think he is going to be my captain in Tests. I will not annoy him."

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