‘I’m plagued by misfortune everytime I’m on the radar’

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While the Indian team is struggling with frequent injuries to their star pacers off late, left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan is aiming at this year’s IPL to throw his name in contention for a national recall. Natarajan has been on the receiving end of unfortunate injuries that saw him in the sidelines more often than not.

The 31-year-old burst onto the scene after scalping 16 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020. However, an injury plagued 2021 derailed his IPL campaign as he made just two appearances in the competition that year. The Salem-born cricketer then rediscovered his form with the ball in IPL 2022, scalping 18 wickets in the campaign. 

Unfortunately, he was hit by yet another injury that ended his hopes of making the T20 World Cup squad. Natarajan is hoping to come back stronger in the upcoming IPL edition with his eyes set on a return to the national team. 

“Everytime I’m almost on the radar, I’m plagued by misfortune. Hopefully, God-willing, if again I do well this IPL, maybe I’ll get considered this year. For me, the IPL has been the main thing from where I got into the Indian team. So, if I do well in the IPL like last year and stay injury free, hopefully chances are there for me to be considered,” Natarajan said to Sportstar.

I can bowl at any stage, have prepared my mindset like that: Natarajan

Natarajan sustained a meniscus tear earlier in 2022 while playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. His injury aggravated after he participated in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and had to eventually sideline himself during the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the fag end of 2022. Although he is renowned for his deadly yorkers in the death overs, the 31-year-old is prepared to take the ball at any stage of the match. 

“I had sustained a mild meniscus tear near my old knee injury in the last IPL. I trained at the NCA and got totally ready for and played the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Unfortunately, it caused a problem again (close to the Vijay Hazare Trophy), and the coaching staff advised me to rest and get absolutely match-ready. I can bowl at any stage, have prepared my mindset like that. The team wants me to bowl in some situation means they believe in me for that situation. I then try and deliver,” he added.

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