Karun Nair: ‘Cricket can change tomorrow’

Out of favour India batsman Nair has been speaking to Rahul Dravid to gain the psychological strength to deliver.

Karun Nair last played for the national team a little less than two years ago, but is hopeful of getting a breakthrough soon.   -  Sudhakara Jain

This March, Karun Nair will complete two years since his last Test match for India. The out of favour batsman has shown sparks in the ongoing Ranji Trophy but he understands the need to do better to return to contention.

BCCI chairman of selectors M. S. K. Prasad had made it clear that only performances in domestic cricket and for India-A could pull Nair back in. In fact, Prasad has been visiting the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here to assess players in the semifinal between Karnataka and Saurashtra.

Nair under-performed scoring 9 and 15 in the first and second innings respectively. He feels it is perhaps a phase.

“I don’t think anything has gone wrong. I think I should do better. I am obviously not happy with results. I am putting in the hard work, following the process and preparing well. Once I get another start, hopefully I can make it into a big one,” he said at stumps.

Nair has scored two half-centuries this season. An unbeaten 61 against Rajasthan in the quarterfinal and a 63 against Saurashtra in the group stage.

He has been speaking to India-A coach Rahul Dravid to gain the psychological strength to fight through this phase. Like his contemporaries often do.

“He [Dravid] told me to continue what I was doing, ‘do the process right and one you get in, show the hunger there.”’

Nair’s exclusion from the Indian squad midway through the Test series against England, having been picked ahead of Hanuma Vihari and not been given a look-in despite India's poor batting performances, had led to the selection committee coming under fire.

Why was he taken to England and benched? Why wasn’t he picked against the Windies, with India then preparing for the tour of Australia?

“Cricket can change any day. It can change tomorrow,” said Nair, who holds the record of being the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to score a triple ton in Tests.

He could be going through a lean patch at the moment but while entering the stadium, selector Prasad has to walk past Nair’s Ford Mustang that is usually parked outside the players lounge.

The number plate, 303, will keep reminding him of Nair’s talent.

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