Updated March 13th, 2024 at 20:19 IST

'It's hard to sit at home and watch others play': India's only Test triple centurion after Sehwag

The world was at his feet then but it became the biggest talking of his career as trajectory continued to fall down since.

Team India pose for a photo in 2017 | Image:BCCI
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When Karun Nair scored a triple century for India against England, it felt like the team had found their next big middle-order star. However, it did not pan out at that way as Nair only went on to play 6 Test matches for India while failing to fire even in the Indian Premier League. 

The world was at his feet then but it became the biggest talking of his career as trajectory continued to fall down since. "Dear cricket, give me one more chance", said one of India's only two Test triple centurions,after being axed by his domestic side Karnataka for the 2022-23 season.

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Now, back in the grind after a gap of one season for Vidarbha, an emotional Nair admitted on Wednesday that it was tough to "sit at home and watch others play".

Nair, who joined Vidarbha ahead of the 2023-24 season, has enjoyed success in all formats for his new home team and will also end the Ranji Trophy season, which culminates here on Thursday, as the leading run-scorer for the two-time winners.

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"I think I have batted pretty well. I have got runs in all formats. I could have gone better in all formats but having said that, at least this season I have got quite a few runs starting from playing a few games in the County Championship," Nair told the media after churning out a defiant 220-ball 74 on Day Four of the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai.

"I started getting runs there and that gave me a lot of confidence. If I could score runs at The Oval, score a 150 when the conditions are much tougher to play, that gave me a lot of confidence to start the season before I came over here," he said.

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"I didn't play for a year so that was quite hard. I don't know what to say but it was obviously hard to sit at home and watch others play," Nair added.

The 32-year-old, who has played six Tests for India, said he has not given up the hopes of a comeback.

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Image: AP

"(One) hundred per cent I think I can come back. Otherwise, I wouldn't be giving my all to play domestic cricket. (One) hundred per cent I feel I can play for India again. It's just about putting up the performances and keeping the consistency," he said.

The right-handed batter said it would be unrealistic to hope anything special from Vidarbha on the final day, with the visitors needing another 290 runs to win with five wickets in hand.

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"We need to be realistic — it's a tough task. But if I can say something about this team, it's that they never give up and they show character at each time that they are put down," he said.

"But it's cricket, you never know what can happen. I would have loved to have been batting overnight and then could have given you a better answer if I was batting," said Nair, who was dismissed late in the day.

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Nair said batting for long was the only option Vidarbha were left with after Mumbai set an improbable 538-run target.

"It was a wicket where I could have taken many chances but it was like you know, at the cost of what? That was the thought process," he said.

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"The thought process was just bat and not give them any chances. Keep batting and score the runs that they give you rather than trying to convert things. Bat as long as you can. You never know," he said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai pacer Tushar Deshpande said it was not frustrating for his side which had to toil for breakthroughs on a pitch that remained conducive for batting.

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"No, we weren't frustrated at all. We just wanted our bowlers to bowl in good areas because the wicket offered a lot (of) turn and bounce, so they were putting their best foot forward and patience was the key because they played really well and played all good cricketing shots," Deshpande said.

"They didn't play any bad shots in the whole day's play. It was just a matter of time. The wicket has turned out very good to bat (on). It was turning a bit, but slow turn," he added.

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Deshpande said Mumbai bowlers had to "earn" their wickets on the fourth day which turned out to be a tough grind for the team closing in on their 42nd win in the Ranji Trophy.

"The spinners did a good job, but saying that the wicket had some true bounce for pace bowlers also, we bowled in tandem, but we earned all the wickets which we got today," he said.

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Deshpande also praised Vidarbha batters for putting up a resilient batting display.

"They showed really solid resilience. Chasing such a big score, normally teams falter, but they showed very good resilience and they batted really well," he said. 

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published March 13th, 2024 at 20:19 IST