A lot of bowlers in Indian cricket have thanked MS Dhoni for their success with the ball. ‘Captain cool’ Dhoni, like bowlers have said, is not only clever with his field placement but his suggestions to his bowlers tend to work out more often than not. Add T Natarajan to the list.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) pacer Natarajan, ahead of the new Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) season, has revealed how Chennai Super Kings skipper (CSK) Dhoni’s advice during IPL 2020 in the UAE helped him hone his skills.
Natarajan, who is now known as a yorker specialist, said the former India captain’s advice to bowl slower bouncers and cutters made him a better bowler. The Salem-born cricketer bowlerd a whopping 71 yorkers last season, most among pacers, and claimed the prized wickets of Dhoni and de Villiers.
“Speaking to somebody like Dhoni itself is a big thing. He spoke to me about fitness and encouraged me, saying that I will keep getting better with experience. He said, use slow bouncers, cutters, and variations like that. It has been useful for me,” Natarajan was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
Recalling Dhoni’s wicket, he said, “I pitched one in the slot and he hit me for a big six – 102 metres or something. The next ball I got his wicket (and didn’t celebrate) — I was just thinking about that previous ball.
“After coming back to the dressing room, though, I was happy. After finishing the match, I also had a chat with him.”
One another day during the IPL, the 30-year-old had two big reasons to celebrate. One was dismissing Royal Challengers Bangalore’s de Villiers and the other was becoming a father.
“On one side there was my girl and on the other side, I got that wicket in an important knockout game. Romba santhosham (I was extremely happy), but I didn’t really tell the others (about the baby).
“I thought I will tell everyone else after we win the game, but my captain (David) Warner spoke about it, I think, at the post-match (presentation),” Natarajan said.
Natarajan finished with 16 wickets in as many matches last year. Sunrisers Hyderabad will kick off their tournament against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 11.

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