While Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur walked away with top honours on day three of the Brisbane Test with their gritty batting helping India get close to Australia’s first innings total of 369, the post-match accolades sure did go to T Natarajan, who played out nine deliveries for one run batting at No.11, and more importantly, faced one entire over from Mitchell Starc and survived to tell the tale. However, the Indian innings came to an end the next over on 336 with Josh Hazlewood claiming his fifth wicket in the form of Mohammad Siraj.
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R Ashwin, sitting out of this game with a back spasm, got Natarajan, Sundar, and Takhur for a chat post day three’s play and asked Natarajan about that over from Starc, saying, Natarajan played the pacer comfortably. “A lighter moment, Natarajan celebratory moment, I was really worried that Shardul and Washi’s highlight today would be stolen by Natarajan again. He got off the mark in the last 10 innings for the first time. So Nattu, Off the mark in Test cricket. In fact, I had taken a bet that he will get off the mark with four runs. “How did you feel? good feeling? good feeling that blocking away an over of Mitchell Starc Comfortably?” Ashwin asked Natarajan.
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Natarajan in reply had this to say, “Comfortable ah?! Firstu ball kannukke therla na!! (Couldn’t even see the first ball!)”
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Natarajan’s honest reply had Sundar and Ashwin in splits. Watch the video here:
Thakur and Sundar combined for a stand of 123 runs for the seventh wicket to pull India out of trouble from 186/6. Sundar made 62 off 144 balls while Thakur scored 67 off 115 balls with his first scoring shot in Test cricket being a six. He also went to reach his maiden fifty with a maximum. Earlier, Sundar, Thakur and Natarajan had picked up three wickets each in Australia’s first innings.
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On Day 4, Thakur and Sundar continued to impress removing both the Australian openers – Marcus Harris and David Warner – respectively, to halt the hosts’ momentum.