When he made his international cricket debut in the 3rd ODI between India and Australia in Canberra, Thangarasu Natarajan was not just living his big dream but was also encouraging the people out there to dream whatever they want to achieve in life. Taking two important wickets in his first international ODI and three wickets in a first international T20 match, Natarajan has marked his space in the Indian cricket team. ‘Nattu’, as he is fondly called, this newfound talent has indeed given new energy to the Indian bowling squad with his high-risk deliveries.
His historic journey from Chinnappampatti, a village situated around 36 km away from Salem in Tamil Nadu to Australia was indeed incredible. Born among the poorest families in his village, Natarajan is the eldest of five children. This 29-year-old ‘yorker king’ of Indian cricket team had hurdles in each juncture of his life, ranging from acute poverty to a suspect bowling action. Son of a daily wage labourer, Natarajan never gave up on his aspirations and each time he fell down, this southpaw has managed to rise and shine like a phoenix.
In 2007 Natarajan was picked up in Kings XI Punjab for IPL. However, in 2014 he was called for an improper bowling action and it seemed like the end of his cricket career. But Natarajan was destined to be a fighter and he came back to the field in 2016. He played for Sun Risers Hyderabad in 2020, and it became one of his best IPL careers. And during this season, he was picked in the T20 squad of India’s tour to Australia and as Navdeep Saini had to withdraw due to injury, Natarajan got a chance to make his ODI debut as well. The cricketing journey of Natarajan has been a fascinating one, both at the personal and professional level. The yorkers he bowls with utmost precision, often six of them in an over, have already startled the opponents. Praising his debut performance, former Australian cricketer Tom Moody has commented that Natarajan has got the skills to get wickets when India was leaking runs.