Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had an extremely disappointing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season.
Led by Kane Williamson, they finished eighth, winning six and losing eight of their 14 matches. Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, and Aiden Markram shone for SRH, scoring 426, 413, and 381 runs, respectively.
Among bowlers, upcoming speedster Umran Malik was the top wicket-taker for the Hyderabad franchise, claiming 22 scalps in 14 matches at an average of 20.18 and an economy rate of 9.03.
Left-arm seamer T Natarajan also made a good comeback in the 2022 season. He picked up 18 wickets in 11 matches at an impressive average of 22.55. The Tamil Nadu pacer was ruled out of IPL 2021 due to a knee injury after just a couple of games.
Young right-arm fast bowler Kartik Tyagi played only two matches for SRH in the 2022 season, picking up one wicket. However, he is one of the most highly-rated pacers in India and will push for a regular place in the playing XI in the upcoming season.
Raw pace vs experience
Both Tyagi and Natarajan bring diverse skills to the table for the Hyderabad franchise.
While Tyagi is a genuinely quick pacer and can run in hard, Natarajan has the experience of having done well in the IPL as well in a few games for India. When he gets his yorker right, he can be unplayable.
IPL fans will always remember Tyagi’s exceptional performance while representing the Rajasthan Royals (RR) against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 2021 edition.
In a match played in Dubai, Punjab needed only four runs in the last over. But Tyagi was sensational with the ball, conceding only one run. He dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Deepak Hooda to seal the game for RR in an unbelievable fashion.
The 22-year-old, however, picked up only four wickets in four matches during the 2021 edition and was not retained by the franchise.
In contrast, Natarajan has experience of playing 65 T20 matches, in which he has claimed 73 wickets at an average of 25.93, an economy rate of 8.15, and a strike rate of 19.
He has also played one Test, two ODIs, and four T20Is for India. So experience definitely gives Natarajan an edge over Tyagi.
Recent form of the two bowlers
Tyagi played five matches for Uttar Pradesh in the 2022-23 Vijay Hazare Trophy, claiming 10 wickets, including three in the quarter-final against Maharashtra.
He was also among the wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In the match against Delhi, he registered figures of 1/14 in four overs.
Natarajan also featured in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, picking up five wickets in five matches.
He starred with figures of 2/11 in three overs against Chandigarh as Tamil Nadu won the game by 56 runs. Natarajan also picked up a couple of scalps in the match against Odisha.
Who offers better balance to the SRH bowling line-up?
If we look at SRH’s bowling line-up for IPL 2023, apart from Tyagi and Natarajan, Marco Jansen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Umran Malik are among their main pace bowling options.
Kumar and Malik are likely to keep two of the spots in the playing XI. For the remaining places, it could come down to a tussle between Tyagi, Natarajan, Jansen, and Farooqi.
South Africa’s left-arm pacer Jansen had a disappointing season for SRH in IPL 2022, managing only seven wickets in eight matches at an average of 39.14 and an economy rate of 8.56.
He bowled too many length deliveries and was taken apart in a number of games. However, Jansen has tasted success in international cricket lately, so Hyderabad might be tempted to give him a go.
Farooqi is unlikely to fit into the playing XI for many games during the IPL 2023 season due to the four overseas player limit.
Coming back to the Tyagi vs Natarajan debate, the latter is definitely likely to get the first preference between the two.
However, if SRH want to unleash two genuine fast bowlers from either end in Umran and Tyagi, the UP youngster could get the nod.