Kings XI Punjab have probably invested wisely in the IPL 2018 auctions, as they have bought some of the best young batting talent that was on offer. However, surprisingly, the batting talent comes from the Southern part of India.
Karnataka players Karun Nair, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal will all be seen wearing the red and silver jersey of KXIP in IPL 2018.
26-year-old Karun Nair was interviewed by sportstarlive.com and here are some excerpts from the interview.
Talking about playing with Rahul and Mayank, Karun said, “Three of us started our cricket together in the U-19 age-group. Since we have been together for so long, we know each other’s game well. It is a great thing for the Kings XI batting group. If we get a chance to play together, there will be a sense of understanding in the middle and hopefully, we can help the team win the IPL.”
Karun was excited to play under Ashwin, KXIP skipper and said, “I have known Ashwin for the last two or three years, whenever I have been a part of the Indian team. He is a smart thinker and he thinks a great lot about the game. Ashwin has his own ways of doing things and he is really smart about his moves. If you see his bowling, he has all kinds of plans set up for each and every batsman. If one doesn’t work, he goes for the other.”
Talking about his learning from playing in IPL, Karun said, “For any youngster in India, playing the IPL is an advantage. If you are a batsman, you get to face international bowlers at nets and if you are lucky to get a game, you will face more of them. The standard is almost the international level. It is great that the Indian youngsters get to spend time with the legends of the game. Once you do well in the IPL, your confidence goes higher when you go back to your domestic team.”
Talking about sitting out of the Indian team, despite scoring a triple ton in Tests, Karun recalled, “Everyone wants to play for the country and the only way is to do well in the domestic circuit. You don’t need anybody to come and motivate you, performance is the only way back to the Indian team. I went back and scored in all formats, I got six hundreds, including two T20 hundreds, I think I had a good season. Of course, I could have done better, but I am happy how the season went.”
When asked about who he thinks were the smartest buys by his franchise KXIP in IPL auction this year, Karun answered, “Andrew Tye (bought for Rs 7.20 crore) is a good pick. He had done well for Gujarat Lions. You also need a trusted bowler at death to check runs and pick wickets. The addition of Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh adds power to it. Gayle has been a legend in the IPL. Any opposition will be wary of hitters like Gayle and Yuvraj.”