Karun Nair: I am still the same

Karun Nair is the new poster boy of India’s Test team after his unbeaten 303 in the Chennai Test against England.

V. Sreenivasa Murthy

"I have my own expectations and like to stick with them," says Karun Nair.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

As much flair as he has with the bat in his hand, he is as dry or shy when it comes to expressing himself with words. Still, Karun Nair — the new poster boy of India’s Test team after his unbeaten 303 in the Chennai Test against England last month — does spell out his feelings, albeit in a manner that is in exact contradiction with the habit of playing long innings he is getting into.

On the sidelines of the Iran Cup match against the Ranji Trophy champion Gujarat, Nair minced no words while admitting he will have to deal with the additional expectations that will obviously follow from all quarters when he wears the India jersey again. “That is going to be there. I have my own expectations and like to stick with them and not worry about the expectation of others. That way, I don’t really think about the outside part,” he said.

Considering that Nair was full of confidence after his Test heroics, many were disappointed to see him not being picked for the limited overs’ series. Nair played it safe, like most players do, when asked about his non-selection.

“I was not expecting anything. It is the selectors’ call. All I can do is to keep scoring runs. It is up to them to pick me or not,” he said. “I am really not thinking of those things. I don't have any expectations. It is the beginning of my career and I am working hard and waiting for the opportunities.”

With an unbeaten 303 in only his third Test, Nair has joined Virender Sehwag as India’s only two triple-century makers in international cricket. So how much has life changed over the last month?

“Nothing has changed for me, personally. I am still the same. It is just that I get more recognition in the streets,” he said. “Obviously, confidence increases when you score runs at the international level. You have more belief that you can do more at that level.”