Last 18 months have taught me a lot, says Karun Nair
Karun Nair is back in the Indian Test team and is gearing up for the upcoming Afghanistan Test to be held in Bengaluru later this month. The 26-year-old Karnataka batsman, who is only the second Indian to score a triple-century in Test cricketer, stated that post his triple-ton at Chepauk against England in 2016 he “did get weighed down” by expectations and that it took him two months to get back on track.
Also watch: Throwdown challenge with Karun Nair
In a candid interview with Sportskeeda, Nair opened up on a variety of topics about his game and the road ahead for him.
How has life been for triple-centurion Karun since the 2016 Chepauk Test?
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.
A comeback of sorts at your home vs Afghanistan. Your thoughts on it?
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.
You aspire to be an all-format player. What have you been working on specifically over the last 18 months?
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.
Did the selectors/team management talk to you about what they expect from you?
No, I haven't met them or spoken to them yet. I'm waiting. We meet in a couple of days and hopefully, we have a good interaction when we meet.
Who is your go-to person when things aren't going right and why so?
For everyone, family and friends are more important. You have to go back home to family and friends. In cricket, I would always go back to Mr. Rahul Dravid whenever I need something, and he has always been there when I needed any help.
How have you handled expectations from yourself and from outside ever since that triple century?
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.
You are set to lead India A in England. What is that you would like to accomplish on that tour?
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.
How difficult is it to go out there and express yourself when you know that there is pressure on you every time you bat?
Only when you are sitting outside all those thoughts come into your mind. When you get into the middle, I think all the thoughts go out of the window and you are just concentrating on the ball. The most important thing is about contributing to the team and the only thoughts in your head are what can I do to put the team in a better position. Once your mindset is that - most of the batsmen if you ask, would say the same thing. For me, I don't have any thoughts when I bat, and if I have any thoughts, I put them away, and concentrate on the ball coming in at me.