With eye on T20 World Cup, Natarajan focuses on regaining full recovery from knee surgery
The suspension of the IPL midway through the season turned out to be a blessing for Natarajan as he can now use the remainder of the tournament to make a strong case for selection at the T20 World Cup
CHENNAI: India left-arm pacer T Natarajan is targeting a return in time for the resumption of the IPL, which is set to restart in mid-September in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after undergoing a knee surgery in April. The 30-year-old from Tamil Nadu is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for rehabilitation and will miss the fifth edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), scheduled to be held from July 19 to August 15 in Chennai.
“I am progressing well after the surgery. I have started training slowly. I will start bowling at full tilt in the nets by the end of this month. My focus right now is on recovering fully and returning by the time the IPL restarts,” Natarajan told this paper on Monday.
Natarajan was able to play only two games for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL this season before he decided to undergo surgery and fix his troubling knee. It is understood that he injured his knee on the breakthrough tour of Australia – where he made his debut in all three formats – and was carrying it into the IPL.
The suspension of the IPL midway through the season turned out to be a blessing for Natarajan as he can now use the remainder of the tournament to make a strong case for selection at the T20 World Cup.
“The fact that the IPL got suspended when it did has turned out to be a good thing in the end. None of it was in my hands of course,” the left-armer said.
Natarajan would have ideally liked to be on the limited-overs trip to Sri Lanka this month and strengthen his credentials after impressing the team management in Australia. Even if others stake their claim in Sri Lanka, though, Natarajan seems confident that a good IPL will help him earn the nod for the World Cup.
“I am not thinking about the T20 World Cup right now. I am thinking more about my recovery. If I do well in the IPL, the chance to be selected for the T20 World Cup will come on its own. That is my belief. But for that, my recovery needs to be spot on,” he added.