Karun Nair had a rollercoaster ride in his brief international career thus far. The Karnataka batsman, who was once looking as the top contender to seal a place in Indian Test squad, went from hot to cold in a matter of 18 months.
Nair had scored a Test triple century against England at Chepauk in December 2016 and subsequently missed out on three-Test series for India after his failure in last year’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The 26-year-old has recently been recalled into the national Test team for the one-off Test against Afghanistan.
In his latest interview with Sportskeeda, Nair admitted that after his triple-ton against England he “did get weighed down” by expectations and it took him two months to get back on track.
“I think life has come a full circle. Obviously, getting a triple hundred in my third Test match was a brilliant achievement and to be only the second Indian, I felt really happy and privileged to be a part of such honoured company. After that, I got three Tests and didn't do much and I have been dropped since then, and being dropped from the Indian team for the last one and half years, which has taught me a lot. It has made me a better and stronger person and I am just waiting for the opportunity to come and show my skills,” Nair quoted.
When asked if how he has handled expectations from himself and from outside ever since that triple century, he added: “I think I had my own expectations and didn't bother about outside expectations because I always wanted to score in every match I played - those are enough expectations to have, and if you think about outside expectations, it will burden you down. Probably, if I have to be honest, after the 300, I did get weighed down by those expectations but it took me a couple of months to get back on track. I'm very focused on what I want to do and looking forward to the season ahead.”
Reflecting on his comeback in the Test squad for the Afghanistan Test, the right-hander said: “Obviously, I have worked hard for the last one and a half years and I am happy to be back in the team, and looking forward to the Afghanistan Test and if I get an opportunity, I will try and do my best. Hopefully, the team wins.”
Nair has often expressed his desire to be an all-format player. On being asked if he has been working specifically to improve his performances in limited-overs cricket, Nair said: “I haven't been working on anything different as I have always considered myself to be an all-format player and it's all about getting the opportunities at the right time. If you see my IPL performances, I have been doing really well. Honestly, I consider myself as an all-format player and it's just about me getting the opportunities at the right time.”
Nair has been shouldered with the responsibility to lead India ‘A’ side in England. Talking about his expectations from that tour, Nair said: “Most of us are going to England for the first time, it will be a new experience and new conditions to tackle. Obviously, England is a challenge and we are all well-equipped and well-prepared to take on the challenge. Honestly, for me, it is just another tour and good preparation for me to get better as a batsman, as a cricketer, and as a person.”
“Really excited to be part of the team and lead these exciting bunch of youngsters and hopefully we can win a few games there,” he concluded.