Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Natarajan celebrates with his teammates after dismissing Rajasthan Royals cricketer Sanju Samson during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 Twenty20 cricket match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS
Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Brian Lara was “very impressed” with injury-prone pacer T Natarajan, whose performance was one of the few positives to emerge from the heavy defeat against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
The Royals won the game by 72 runs. Mr. Natarajan, whose career has been hampered by injuries, bounced back strongly after conceding 17 runs in his first over. He finished with figures of 23 for two in three overs.
“First of all injury wise, he is back and he has the experience. How he came after the first over was very impressive. The bowlers did well in the last eight overs. At one point it looked that we would have chasing 225 plus but they (Royals) struggled to get over 200. There were some positives. The guys can improve from here,” said Mr. Lara on April 2.
He also defended their decision to bowl first.
“We played a lot of practice sessions next to the actual pitch. Those were quite bouncy and had a bit of speed to them. When we looked at the track for today, we felt it was a good track and this is the first game of the tournament. We thought let’s see if we can, with bowling being our strong suit during the camps, if we can put the opposition under pressure.”
He gave due credit to opposition spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and R Ashwin.
“Obviously, with a bit of a rough score and with the class of Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin… We didn’t bowl as well as we should have in the opening overs and guys put their hands up and said we have to improve in that area. ”
Mr. Lara added to their performance with both powerplays that cost them the game.
“If you split the game into two halves, we lost the first powerplay with the ball in our hands. And when we had the bat in our hands, we lost the powerplay as well. They got 85 and obviously it becomes difficult when you lose two. wickets in the first in the chase of over 200,” added Mr. Lara.