Nair's coaches unsurprised by their ward's feat

B. Shivanand, Karun Nair’s childhood coach, and Karnataka head coach J. Arunkumar are pleased with their ward's special feat -- a maiden Test triple

Karnataka head coach J. Arunkumar (left) has watched Karun record a triple century once before.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

B. Shivanand, Karun Nair’s childhood coach, is over the moon. Even as a pre-teen, Shivanand says, it was clear that Karun was destined for great things.

"He joined my academy (Koramangala Cricket Academy) on 28 March, 2001. I still remember that day clearly. His family had moved to Bengaluru a year before that. The first time I saw him, I knew he was special. I told his father that day: 'Your son is not an ordinary player. He'll play for India one day.' His timing was that good," Shivanand says.

Shivanand often encouraged his ward to compete against his seniors. "When he was only 13, he played an U-19 inter-academy match in Chikkamagaluru. We were in big trouble at 48 for six, chasing 227. Karun was the opener, and he made an unbeaten 126 to win us the match. We needed nine off the last over; Karun scored 12."

Karnataka head coach J. Arunkumar has watched Karun record a triple century once before. In the 2104-15 Ranji Trophy final, the middle-order batsman scored 328 to lead his side past Tamil Nadu. "I am really happy that he got 300, but I am not surprised. Once he made 140, we knew that rhythm had set in, and that he was set for a big score. We have seen him do this before," he says.

Karun did appear to be shaky as he approached the century milestones, but Arunkumar kept the faith. "Contrary to what everyone thinks, when Karun was in the 190s and 290s, I was not tense. Whenever he gets to the 90s, he plays 20-25 balls and then finishes his century. Karun was most probably thinking 'I will play ‘ aaram se (play it cool)’, you bowl the bad balls, and I will get the century. I have got all day'. This attitude makes the bowlers more tense than the batsman," he says.

The match could have been even sweeter for the State, had K. L. Rahul reached his double hundred. Arunkumar believes that Rahul has it in him to join Karun in the 300-club.

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