The 4-match Test series between India and England began in Chennai from Friday. The manner in which the Indian players beat Australia in the Test series 2-1 in difficult conditions on the tour of Australia is a qualification.
Despite the injury to the 10 key players, the way the young players performed their responsibility shows India’s strong bench strength. Pacer Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and T Natrajan showed their performances on the tour of Australia as they prepared for the international stage. It will be interesting to see how the team management gives them a chance when the main players come back from injury.
On the other hand, Karun Nair emerged as a hero when the England team visited India in 2016. Nair had recorded his name in the record book with a bang innings game in Chennai. Nair is the second Indian to score a triple century in Test cricket after Virender Sehwag. Four years ago, Nair scored an unbeaten 303 against England in the first innings. England had scored 477 runs in the first innings. India had a 282-run lead in the first innings.
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After this, the last few years were not good for Nair. Recently he appeared in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy captaining Karnataka. Nair scored a triple century in his third Test. He then played three more Test matches. Nair has scored a total of 374 runs in 6 Tests at an average of 62.33. After scoring a triple century, Nair got a chance to play just one more Test series against Australia in 2017.
Nair’s performance in the recently concluded Mushtaq Ali Trophy was not much special. He scored six innings at an average of 15.50.
‘Nothing wrong with batting’
In an interview with an English newspaper, Sachin Santon Menon of Karnataka State Cricket Association said, “I don’t see anything wrong in his batting.” What happened to him in England probably affected his mental level. He was in squad. Hanuma Vihari got a chance in his place. Sometimes these kinds of things make a big impact on you. Vihari was given a chance in the playing eleven out of the squad.
Karun has played 2 ODIs so far. “After this, his performance in the IPL too was nothing special,” said Menon. They did not get much opportunities either. I am sure he will come back strong.
‘Nair wants to perform better under pressure’
Karun Nair’s childhood coach B Shivanand said, “Then (when Nair was making big scores) he was enjoying a lot.” Now again he wants to perform. He is playing under pressure. On the other hand, the Secretary of KSCA said that Nair will not be removed from the captaincy of Karnataka. This is because they will find it easier to get form from it.