Anshuman Gaekwad believes that Natarajan is ready to play Test cricket for India. He also praised the Indian team management for backing the 29-year-old's progress.
Natarajan was added in the Indian squad after the second Test against Australia. He came in as a replacement for the injured Umesh Yadav. The pacer had a breakout season in IPL 2020. He was in the team only as a net bowler during India's ongoing tour of Australia. But Natarajan successfully made his T20I and ODI debuts against Australia and managed to make his mark.
Management's support gives a lot of confidence to players like T Natarajan: Anshuman Gaekwad
Other players, including Mohammed Siraj and Shubman Gill, also made their Test debuts in Australia's ongoing tour. Both the players performed well in the second Test. India won the second Test by eight wickets to level the four-match series at 1-1.
Gaekwad has also stated that the team management's support and close coordination has helped them to perform well. The selector also feels that Natarajan will again shine if given an opportunity in the remaining matches. It is still not clear either Shardul Thakur or Navdeep Saini will replace Umesh Yadav in the third Test. The third encounter between Australia and India starts at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Thursday.
However, if the Indian side decides to play Natarajan, his bowling intelligence could add some value to the bowling department. If the left-arm pacer makes his debut then he will be the first since Zaheer Khan to play Test cricket for India. Zaheer Khan played his last Test match in Wellington back in February 2014.
Both the Indian and Australian teams have already moved to Sydney on January 4. On January 2 and 3, the sides had trained in Melbourne Cricket Ground only. Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has also opted not to move the match in the wake of Covid-19 cases.
India's star opener, Rohit Sharma will also join the team from the third Test. On the other end, Australia will also witness opener David Warner joining the side from the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
T Natarajan has had a fair first-class career so far. The 29-year-old has played 20 first-class games and picked 64 wickets. His performance in IPL has impressed everyone, and he successfully grabbed his spot in the Indian team.