Australia’s Warner all praise for Natarajan

Filed on January 2, 2021
Australia’s David Warner (left) and T Natarajan played for Sunrisers in the IPL. — AFP

Natarajan has come into the Indian Test squad in place of Umesh Yadav who suffered a calf strain.

Australia opening batsman David Warner on Saturday praised India fast bowler T Natarajan for his line and length but refused to predict how he will fare if he gets to play the last two Test matches at Sydney and Brisbane.

Warner has captained Natarajan in the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Sunrisers Hyderabad. Natarajan took 16 wickets in 16 matches in the 2020 season and the left-arm pacer was picked as a net bowler for the tour of Australia on the back of his IPL performances. However, with India struggling with injuries to their fast bowlers, he has got a chance of playing T20Is, ODIs and has now received a call-up to the Test squad.

Natarajan has come into the Test squad in place of Umesh Yadav who suffered a calf strain.

“I am not sure. Don’t know his Ranji Trophy stats. I know he has the line and length to do that. He has the capabilities of delivering. But obviously back-to-back overs in a Test match, I am not a 100 per cent sure,” said Warner while told reporters on Saturday.

“I think it is a great reward for Nattu (Natarajan). Given the fact that he was coming over here, missing the birth of his child to be a net bowler and then being injected into the squad is a great thing. Congrats to him and he is a very, very good bowler. I got to see that and got on to captain him in the IPL. Wish him the best and when he gets that opportunity we know he is comfortable and he knows what to do,” added Warner.

Warner, who is racing against time to get fit, however, said that Mohammed Siraj should definitely be given a chance to play in the third Test. Siraj picked five wickets in the second Test in Melbourne after replacing injured Shami whose bowling arm was fractured.

“I know a fair bit about Siraj with how well he has gone in Ranji Trophy and him backing up with a repeated amount of overs. I think given his debut and how well he has gone about it, probably he will be capable of doing that if you include him in the Test squad,” Warner added.

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