India vs Australia: Natarajan, Washington Sundar make Test debuts; incredible turnaround for net bowlers


Pacer Natarajan came in for Jasprit Bumrah, who suffered an abdomen injury, while Sundar was a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, who was ruled out of the Test because of a dislocated thumb. India also made another two changes as Shardul Thakur replaced R Ashwin, who has been sidelined through a back niggle and Mayank Agarwal walked in for Hanuma Vihari, who is sitting out with a calf injury.

Natarajan also became the only Indian player to make international debut in all three formats in the same tour. The left-arm pacer had made his T20I and ODI debuts earlier on this tour in December 2020. Natarajan became the 300th Test player of India, while Sundar became the 301st. Bowling coach B Arun handed over the India cap to Natarajan, while Ashwin did the honours for Sundar.

This has been a massive turnaround in fortunes for both Natarajan and Sundar, who stayed back in Australia as net bowlers ahead of the Test series. Even though forced by an unfortunate chain of incidents, both greenhorns have received a terrific chance to prove themselves in red ball cricket too. Natrajan and Sundar had a good IPL 2020 for their respective teams – Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore and were drafted into the T20I and ODI squads to tour Australia.

Natarajan shot into prominence through his ability to bowl yorkers with pin-point accuracy at death and played a big role in carrying Sunrisers to the IPL 2020 Playoffs. Sundar has been with the RCB for a couple of seasons now, and skipper Virat Kohli trusts him with the duty of bowling in the Power Play segment often and he has delivered too.

So how will they fare in Test cricket? Let’s watch!

 



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