Sunrisers Hyderabad’s T Natarajan, who put up an exhibition of yorkers against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday, has stated that his main strength is yorkers and he is backing that. However, he understands that other bowlers are trying more variations like slower balls and cutters due to the ground size.
It was only fitting that T Natarajan took the yorker route to announce his second-coming in the Indian Premier League, for his accent to the IPL, four years ago, was on the back of six back-to-back yorkers in a Super Over against Abhinav Mukund and Washington Sundar in a Tamil Nadu Premier League game. After a roller-coaster journey in the last four years, where he represented Kings XI Punjab before being bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad, Natarajan has finally cemented his place in the side thanks to that extra bit of pace which also helped Tamil Nadu reach the Syed Mushtaq Ali final late last year.
The game against Delhi Capitals was the culmination of all the hard work over the years as Natarajan exhibited a fine performance, dishing out yorkers at will. His last two overs saw him bowl 10 yorkers with the last of them dismissing Marcus Stoinis. On being asked about it, Natarajan stated that he only backed his strength.
"I was eager to prove myself if I get a chance this year. I am getting an opportunity after a long time. I didn't want to miss this chance. I have had that mindset. I did not expect to play the first match itself. I thought I will get a chance at some stage. But the first game itself went well. I am playing every match with the mentality that it could be the last game," Natarajan told TOI.
"Other bowlers are not trying too many yorkers. Since the grounds (other than Sharjah) are big and the pitches are on the slower side, bowlers are trying other variations like slower length balls. Every bowler thinks differently. My main strength is the yorker. So I am looking to back that. You need to practice a lot to get yorkers right. You need a lot of mental strength as well," he stated.
As the pandemic started and the income source dried up, owner of TNCA club Jolly Rovers, N Sankar extended his helping hand with a monthly salary to Natarajan which helped him take good care of his body. The pacer thanked him for the same.
"I started working on my physical strength when lockdown started. I am thankful to N Sankar (owner of TNCA club Jolly Rovers) for helping me during the pandemic with a monthly salary. I have taken good care of my body in the last six months. My pace has gone up. Apart from gym work, I did a lot of running at my academy in Salem and was continuously training at the nets. Eating home-cooked food has also helped."