MUMBAI: The National Selection Committee, headed by former left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, was “not convinced” of selecting Hardik Pandya in the white-ball squad for Australia, but T Natarajan – India’s latest T20 star – bowling only in the traps.
In the run-up to the selection of the selectors, the selectors were of the opinion that Pandya would not be bowled because he would be sent to Australia as a batsman was not viable.

The decision surprised the management of the team as Pandya scored a huge goal in the Indian Premier League (IPL). “The selectors, they believed they couldn’t go because they couldn’t bowl. It was amazing that they didn’t see what kind of batting form. Pandya was a little convinced to include them because it was left to some people. They are unlikely to go.”
In the second one-dayer at the SCG, Pandya took four wickets and took two wickets. Sources said: “These kinds of decisions will show whether they are capable of seeing the big picture. Right now, whether they can bowl or not, in the form of a hardcore white-ball is inevitable. Between now and the T20 World Cup, this kind of selection will be very crucial.”

The selection committee did not recognize new star T Natarajan as a potential member of the XI, playing on the horizon of Team India. Natarajan was sent to Australia as a net bowler, and Navdeep Saini came to the team after being injured.
However, the Indian team’s management has noticed that the bowler – who has come back from the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) as a prospect – has come back. Natarajan’s ability to bowl a certain line and length in the traps, especially the yorkers – which have been featured in the IPL – convinced the team of their abilities.
The bowler scored seven runs in his first international match – the third ODI at Manuka Oval – and two wickets, including Marnus Labuschagne, did not make him stand out. However, back at the Nets, he was taking a big lead. Sources say, “It was obvious that they would play T20s after watching the Nets. Michelle Stark’s wicket in the first match (T20) dispelled any small doubt.”
Tamil Nadu bowler is the fifth highest wicket taker in the IPL behind leg spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who suffered a shoulder injury. “But Natarajan’s ability to bowl the Yorkers like Ichtha was so amazing. There is no doubt he should be involved in the T20 team. Not just the net bowler. In the end, he got what he deserved,” Tracking said.

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