Former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist believes T Natarajan should get the nod over Navdeep Saini in the Sydney Test. Gilchrist feels Natarajan would bring more variety to the Indian bowling line up as a left-arm pacer.
India will be forced to make a change for the upcoming Test as Umesh Yadav has returned home after suffering a calf strain.
As a result, India added T Natarajan to the Test squad as a replacement for Yadav.
The left-armer was only used as a net bowler after the limited overs series against Australia, but now he has a window of opportunity to make his Test debut too.
"It would be an interesting call to make between Navdeep Saini and T Natarajan. The latter would have my vote because, as mentioned earlier in the series, I think he would add variety as a left-arm pacer and would also leave some handy footmarks for Ravichandran Ashwin to exploit. Natarajan and Saini have both had some time in the middle during the one-dayers, and it would be interesting to see who among them will make his debut."
Will we see T Natarajan in the third Test?
The Tamil Nadu seamer has seen a meteoric rise over the past few months on the back of a successful IPL campaign. Natarajan played for India in the last ODI against Australia as the visitors won their first game of the tour.
The left-armer picked up two wickets in that game but conceded 70 runs in his ten overs.
It was the T20Is where the seamer was at his best. Indian registered a 2-1 series win, and Natarajan played a massive role as he took six wickets in three games and bowled at an an economy rate of 6.92.
However, the 29-year-old is still untested in the longest format of the game. Some reports suggested that Shardul Thakur is the front runner to replace Umesh Yadav for the third Test, given his experience and performance with the red-ball over the years in domestic cricket.
Another factor which works in Thakur's favour is his ability to bat lower down the order.
However, if India are looking to add some variety to their bowling attack, they can definitely consider T Natarajan.Published 06 Jan 2021, 10:08 IST