Renowned cricket journalist and author Bharat Sundarsen shared an interesting anecdote during the launch event of his latest book- The Miracle Makers: Indian Cricket’s Greatest Epic- in New Delhi on Wednesday (21 February). Sundarsen revealed how former India head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun agreed to his suggestion of including T Natrajan in the playing XI during India’s historic 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Talking about how every decision from the Indian team management was proving to be a game-changer, Sundarsen revealed that he was watching T Natarajan in practice before the fourth Test and observed that Natarajan was troubling the Indian batters with his swing and raw pace. He then casually walked up to Shastri who was walking back to the pavilion. Sundarsen then casually suggested Shastri includes Natarajan in the playing XI.
“We (him and Gaurav Joshi, co-author of The Miracle Makers) were watching the practice session of India. T Natarajan was looking really good and was troubling his teammates with his variations. When the session ended, I went up to Ravi Shastri where Bharat Arun was also there and casually joked ‘Why don’t you play Natarajan?’,” said Sundarsen on the sidelines of his book launch event.
“Shastri then looked at Bharat Arun and asked in his deep voice ‘Karein kya?’ Arun also agreed saying ‘kar sakte hain’. So, such was that series for India that the management was ready to try everything.”
Notably, T Natarajan played the fourth Test at the Gabba and scalped three wickets in the first innings including Marnus Labuschagne who hit a century.
Coming to the book, The Miracle Makers: Indian Cricket’s Greatest Epic talks about India’s historic win in Australia during the 2019-20 Border Gavaskar Trophy. Bharat Sundarsen reveals the behind-the-scene events and how tough it was for everyone involved in the series. While the players had their share of problems with Australia in lockdown, the journalists had also to go through a lot to cover the series.