T Natarajan was Kapil Dev’s 'hero' from IPL 2020

T Natarajan was Kapil Dev’s 'hero' from IPL 2020

The left-arm pacer, alongside David Warner and Rashid Khan, contributed significantly to Sunrisers Hyderabad's progress in the tournament

Sunrisers Hyderabad player T Natarajan. Credit: PTI Photo

Former India skipper Kapil Dev said that the newest pace sensation, T Natarajan was his 'hero' from the Indian Premier League 2020.

“Natarajan was my hero of the IPL. Young boy was fearless and bowled so many yorkers. The yorker is the best ball, not only today but even in the last 100 years,” said Kapil at the HT Leadership Summit, which was conducted virtually.

The left-arm pacer, alongside David Warner and Rashid Khan, contributed significantly to the progress of the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the tournament. 

Kapil Dev also said that he admired Natarajan for “sticking to the basics of bowling accurate yorkers in an ever-changing dynamic that is fast bowling,” according to a report in Hindustan Times.

Breaking through the shackles of poverty by bowling pinpoint yorkers at will, Thangarasu Natarajan’s birth as a death-bowling specialist took place a few years before IPL 2020, in which he rattled the best of batsmen with his yorkers, ball after ball.

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First picked by the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 3 crore in 2017, Natarajan took three years to come of his age on the big stage, having proved expensive in the six games that he had played in the past.

He was picked by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 but played his first game for them only this season. After mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy's shoulder injury was revealed, Natarajan received his maiden India call-up for the T20 series in Australia.

Talking about the art of fast bowling, the 1983 World Cup-winning former skipper said that fast bowlers opting for too many variations saddens him.

"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," he explained.

"Bowlers have to understand it's not the pace, it's the swing. They should learn but are running away from art," said the legendary all-rounder.

The 61-year-old recently underwent angioplasty after suffering a heart attack.

(With agency inputs)