Karun Nair aims for India return

Karun Nair, who's scored back-to-back hundreds in Ranji Trophy for Karnataka, aims to reclaim his place in the Indian Test team.

Karun Nair's piling up runs in Ranji Trophy to reclaim his lost spot in the Indian Test team.   -  P. K. AJITH KUMAR

Karun Nair’s innings for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy match against Maharashtra here on Friday was showcased his determination. He got to his hundred — his second in as many matches. But he knows he needs more of them to force his way back into the Indian Test side.

Karun may be one of the two Indians to make a triple hundred in Tests, and he may have achieved the monumental feat less than a year ago, but he is very well aware of the fact that only big scores would give him his place back.

“At the moment that is all what I am thinking of, to put runs on the board consistently; the rest should take care of itself,” Karun told Sportstar here on Saturday, shortly after Karnataka posted its third straight win.

READ: Shashikanth's all smiles about the Karnataka boys

“Only scoring runs is in my hands. I am doing what is under my control. And I want to be an even better player when I come back.”

He is doing that pretty well. This was his second hundred in as many Ranji matches. Before that he had two half centuries for the Indian Board President’s XI against the touring New Zealand team in Mumbai.

“It was nice to get back-to-back hundreds in the Ranji Trophy,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s important for me to convert my starts into big scores. I want to ensure that I am ready when I get an opportunity to play for India again.”

He admitted the competition was tough for a spot in the Indian middle order. “There is healthy competition, yes. But that is good for Indian cricket.”

He added that he was glad that Karnataka could win all the matches it played so far in the Ranji Trophy. “And it is nice to have P. V. Shashikanth as the coach; I have been working under him since my Under-19 days. He is now an additional comforting factor for me.”

While he made his hundred, his partner, Mayank Agarwal, went on to make a maiden triple ton. “I am very happy for him. I have never seen him bat with so much discipline.”

Three months ago, Karun led India A in South Africa. “I enjoyed captaining 11 different people from different parts of the country. It was an honor leading the India A team.”

He said he wanted to focus on all the formats of the game. “I have enjoyed playing in the IPL. I always try to play positively, so I don’t have to make adjustments in my batting while I play in limited overs matches. All I need is to make some changes mentally. I want to be known as a player who could play in all the formats. And I know I have that ability.”