There’s a lot to learn, I’ve been learning each day, working hard on my game : The youngster, Karun Kaladharan Nair, made headlines by scoring 328 runs off 560 deliveries in the Final of the Ranji Trophy 2014-15, against Tamil Nadu, and bettered the individual best score of 319 runs scored by Baroda’s Gul Mohammad playing against Holkar in the Ranji Trophy Final 1946-47.
Nair has also been having a good outing in BCCI’s premier tournament, Indian Premier League.
Speaking about his experience Nair had said, “IPL has been a very good experience. We get to interact with our own senior players and other international players and share their experience. We get a lot of advice and guidance from them. The match that I enjoyed playing most was in 2014 when we (Rajasthan Royals) beat RCB in Bengaluru. I had scored 56 runs in that match.”
Having faith in his training and hard work to make it big, Karun said, “Yes I am, as I said, training and working hard and doing my best in every available opportunity. Rest of it, I will take as it comes.”
The third Test in the recently concluded home series against England played at Mohali, saw the youngster being handed over his Test cap by none other the iconic former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar.
In the only innings that he got to bat in that match, Nair managed to score only 4 runs (one boundary) off four balls before he was ‘run out.
In the fourth and pen-ultimate Test of the series that was played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, Karun could score only 13 runs off 17 balls with 2 fours before he was ‘done in’ by Moen Ali.
Having not being able to do anything significant in his first Tests, Karun got another opportunity to establish his credentials in the Fifth and Final Test played at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.
Having notched up a century, the Karnataka youngster became the third batsman in the world and the first Indian to convert his maiden Test century into a triple ton.
Staying put at the crease for 560 minutes, facing 381 deliveries and aided by 32 fours and 4 sixes and having stitched three century partnerships, Nair put up his highest Test score, thus far, of an unbeaten 303* runs. He joins the likes of Virendra Sehwag in the 300+ club.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, an ecstatic Nair said, “I think it will take a couple of days to set in. I was going through all the texts and wishes that I got [last night]. It”s an amazing feeling when you contribute to winning a match, so hats off the to team. Everyone congratulated me but we were more focused on winning the match. There”s a lot to learn, I”ve been learning each day, working hard on my game.”
With this kind of batting credentials, it is always expected that the batsman would be an integral part of the Playing XI for many more games to come.
The reality, however, proved otherwise. Bangladesh toured India for an ‘one-off’ Test match at Hyderabad. Nair got the nod of the selectors and found himself in the squad. So did another flamboyant player, Ajinkya Rahane, who was returning from an injury.
Though the selectors’ had done justice to Nair by including him in the squad, the Team management had different ideas.
They brought back Ajinkya Rahane into the Playing XI, leaving out Nair to warm the benches. A batsman,, who had a few weeks ago, created a record was, in the very next outing, consigned to carry ‘drinks and towel’
Although Rahane did not disappoint the team management by scoring 82 runs, it was a shade unfair on the Karnataka youngster, being left out of action.
Australians are currently touring India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017 and slated to play 4 Test matches.
The Indian squad does include Karun Nair, but only time will tell whether he would get to ‘wield his bat’ in the middle and come out with stellar performance/s.
The Indian middle-order is currently packed with the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin – all in excellent form.
They all have done exceedingly well in the home series’ against New Zealand and England. The only possibility of Nair getting into the Playing XI could be on account of injury or a terribly poor performance by any of them.
Its really ironical that a batsman, backed by an unbeaten triple century in Tests, has to ‘cool his heels’ in the pavilion, accompany the drinks cart and wait for someone to get injured.
On the flip-side it shows the power of the Indian ‘bench-strength.