IPL 2021, MI vs SRH: With as many as four changes, Sunrisers Hyderabad took on Mumbai Indians in Chennai on Saturday, losing the match by 13 runs. But one exclusion that surprised many was pacer T Natarajan’s. The pacer has been in fine form for Team India and fans were stunned to see him dropped. But SRH’s director of cricket clarified that he was not dropped while VVS Laxman, the team’s mentor confirmed that T Natarajan had suffered a knee injury before the match, ruling him out. His replacement Khaleel Ahmed did well against MI.
Tom Moody said that SRH were managing his workload and that was the reason why Natarajan missed out. “Natarajan has not been dropped. He has been rested. We know that he has had a lot of cricket over the last six months including for India. We need to take care of him as there is a long IPL season ahead. If he was 100 per cent fit and fresh, he would have definitely played,” Tom Moody told the host broadcaster Star Sports.
IPL 2021, MI vs SRH: T Natarajan injured, what is the extent of his injury?
However, later in the post-match press conference, the team’s mentor VVS Laxman confirmed that the pacer had suffered a knee injury. While it is unclear whether he will be sidelined for future matches, VVS Laxman said that the team doctor will assess his injury further and take a call.
“Yeah, unfortunately, nitrogen because of a sore knee and a niggle in his left knee, he was ruled out of this match. So, he was unfit for this match and that’s why we went with Khaleel Ahmed. We are going to assess the condition of Natarajan and I’m sure that the medical staff of Sunrisers will take the right decision which will be beneficial for him and the franchise,” VVS Laxman said.
In his place, Khaleel Ahmed played his first match of the IPL and was impressive with 1/24 in his four overs. He got the important wicket of Hardik Pandya. VVS Laxman was also impressed with Khaleel Ahmed’s performance.
“I was very impressed with the way Khaleel Ahmed bowled in his first game of the season. I think he assessed the conditions really well and used a lot of his variation along with extracting a lot of pace and bounce off the surface. So, a lot of positives for SRH in the Khaleel Ahmed bowled,” VVS Laxman said.