Sunrisers Hyderabad suffered their second consecutive defeat on Sunday after batting exposure from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway and Mukesh Choudhary’s four irons helped Chennai Super Kings to a 13-run victory in Pune. Gaikwad (99 from 57 balls) and Conway (85 from 55) took the bowlers to the cleaners as the pair put together a scintillating partnership of 182 runs, the highest opening stand of the season. (Follow IPL 2022 coverage)
In response, SRH came up short, reaching 189 for 6 from 20 overs despite late heroics from Nicholas Pooran (64 not out) and a calm 47 run by skipper Kane Williamson. The Sunrisers bowling unit had an ordinary outing at MCA Stadium with Natarajan being the sole wicket taker. He came back 2/42 in his four overs.
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Natarajan was a strong contender for last year’s T20 World Cup but has been sidelined with injuries throughout 2021. With his ability to throw precise yorkers and stop the flow on death, he has made a superb comeback in the current IPL, having picked 17 wickets in nine games.
Bowler Sunriser appears to be on pace and legendary Sunil Gavaskar believes he will be in contention for Team India in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022.
“He’s always been a yorker specialist, but what we’ve seen lately is how he manages to move the ball late which tricks batsmen. So it’s good to see this improvement in Natarajan,” Gavaskar said on ‘Cricket Live’. on Featured Sports before the SRH-CSK game.
“It’s good to see him doing well because for a while it looked like India lost him. It’s good to have him back in contention because he’s playing very well, especially between 16th and 20th place. He will be a very fit affirmation (for Team India) for his ability to play well in deathmatches,” he added.
He is among the top contenders for the Purple Cap this year and Gavaskar underlined the pacemaker’s confidence on his return from injury. Natarajan had also produced a phenomenal show in the IPL 2020 edition. He picked up 16 wickets at a saving of 8.02 before injuries derailed his 2021.
“I think it’s a matter of confidence. Last year, maybe, he wasn’t at the top of his game because of the injury situation. Right now he’s full of confidence, he had a little break, and he’s fresh and looking forward to He recognizes there’s a T20 World Cup in four months and he wants to be on that flight to Australia,” added Gavaskar.