T Natarajan is likely to play no further part in IPL 2021 if media reports are to be believed. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer missed the last two games due to a sore knee, with the aggravation of the same problem set to rule him out of the competition.
T Natarajan last played for SRH against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 14. Issuing an update on T Natarajan, David Warner on Wednesday said the left-arm pacer may have to get his left knee scanned.
Although Warner did not suggest the issue could see Natarajan miss the entire season, a Cricbuzz report said the pacer’s IPL 2021 journey may be over. A BCCI and IPL source speaking to the publication had this to say:
"We have not got the full report but we have been told that he has developed a strain in the knee. He will have to undergo rehab in the NCA."
T Natarajan spent close to two months at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru after his debut Australian tour. The latest injury seems to have no link to the shoulder niggle that the 30-year-old earlier struggled with.
The latest reports suggest NCA physios have been monitoring T Natarajan’s fitness and have submitted a report to the BCCI regarding the aggravation.
The same may prompt the BCCI to ask SRH to release the pacer, which will cause him to miss IPL 2021.
SRH have multiple options to replace T Natarajan
Although the news of T Natarajan’s exit will come as a big blow to SRH, the franchise has an embarrassment of Indian riches to choose from.
Khaleel Ahmed is a like-for-like replacement for T Natarajan and has picked up four wickets in two games in the latter’s absence. Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi are also capable of stepping into the playing XI.
SRH will also be eligible to name a replacement if Natarajan's exit from the competition is confirmed.