Virender Sehwag recalled the faith he had shown in T Natarajan in bidding Rs 3 crore for him as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) mentor in the 2017 IPL auction. He said the move had been questioned because Natarajan had not even played domestic cricket then.
Natarajan made his ODI debut on Wednesday, making it a debut to remember with a wicket in his new ball spell. Sehwag said he was excited to see Natarajan playing for India but would have thought he would have got a breakthrough in the T20 format first. Sehwag said he had been convinced by seeing videos of Natarajan from the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) of how useful he could be.
“I was very happy because when I had picked Natarajan in the IPL for the Kings XI Punjab, everyone was asking questions that this player has come who has not even played domestic cricket and came after playing just the TNPL league, so how he was picked at such a huge price,” Sehwag, who was KXIP mentor at the time, responded to a fan query after the 3rd ODI on a post-match show on Sony Sports Network.
“I saw his videos and then decided that we will surely take him at the auction because we did not have a death bowler. Unfortunately that year, he had an injury to the elbow or the knee because of which he could not play too many matches. But we won only the matches that he played in and lost all the other matches,” Sehwag added.
“So I was very excited to see that he was getting an opportunity although I was thinking that he would be given a chance in the T20Is but it was a surprise for me that he was played in the ODIs.
India picked a consolation 13-run win in the 3rd ODI against Australia to end the series 2-1 in the hosts’ favour. The two teams will play a three-match T20I series starting from Friday.