Even before a ball could be bowled in the one off Test between India and Bangladesh, the buzz was about Ajinkya Rahane’s return and Karun Nair’s omission from the Test team. While Nair had scored an unbeaten triple century (303*) in his last Test innings, it was argued by both coach, Anil Kumble and captain, Virat Kohli that Rahane’s stellar work in the last two years had not been forgotten.
While it is extremely unfortunate for Nair to be left out, he has taken it bravely, on the chin, so to speak. The 25 year old Karnataka batsman has a deep respect for Ajinkya Rahane, and has gone on to admit that if he was in charge of selections, he too would’ve picked Rahane. While not undermining his triple hundred, he did feel that Rahane was a proven performer across all conditions. “I’m lucky to have got a chance because of his (Rahane’s) injury but now that he is fit, I’m glad to see him return to the side. He is a match winner and even though I scored a match winning triple century, I do not have a body of work as vast as his…once it is comparable, it will be easier to look at selections in a more objective manner”
All things aside, how much does one have to score to seal a spot in this Indian team? Karun Nair feels that even 300 is not enough. “As you know, triple hundreds are quite common these days, especially in home conditions against indifferent bowling attacks. The real Test will be for me to show my stamina, I will try and score 400 next time”
When asked if he thought that 400 would seal his spot, he answered in the negative, “No…I don’t think so, even if I score 400, and if Rohit Sharma is fit and available for selection in the next match, he should be picked before me. Rohit is much more senior and a proven match winner across formats. Also I don’t think I can compare myself to his talent and potential. Captain has great regard for him too. He is set to do big things for the country in the Test arena”
When Karun Nair will play for the country is anybody’s guess but this is not dampening the middle order batsman’s spirits who feels that just spending time in the dressing room with seniors like Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane is a blessing in disguise for him – “every day I learn something new, there is a great atmosphere in the dressing room. Something that no amount of time in the middle can teach you. Right now I am focused on carefully observing the seniors and picking a trick or two on how to handle myself spending long hours on the bench”
When asked if India’s other triple centurion, Virender Sehwag, had spoken to him, he said, “yes, on Twitter. He made fun of me. But that is Viru Bhai. He’s an original and it is a privilege to be mocked by him. I’m really looking forward to be made fun of by him when I make 400 runs. I can almost anticipate him tweeting that he will have to come out of retirement to keep me company and returning my favour of keeping him company in the 300 Indians’ club”.
However plausible this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction.