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Sunday, July 22, 2018

I was fortunate enough to get to play in India Test XI, says Karun Nair

Karun Nair has been excluded from India's Test squad for the away series against Sri Lanka but the right-hander will lead India 'A' in the two four-day matches during the team's tour of South Africa.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: July 11, 2017 1:25:42 pm
Karun Nair, India 'A', Indian Express Karun Nair will lead India ‘A’ in two four-day matches in South Africa. (Source: Express Archive)

Karun Nair was appointed as skipper of India ‘A’ squad for tour of South Africa but the right-hander didn’t find a place in India’s Test squad for Sri Lanka series. Talking about his exclusion from the Virat Kohli-led squad, Nair, in a conversatin with ESPNCricinfo, insisted that he is not losing sleep over it and is directing his energies towards the upcoming tour of South Africa with the ‘A’ team.

“I will have to respect the decision of the team management and selectors,” Nair said. “That’s the way it goes and I am just focusing on South Africa now, the India ‘A’ tour, looking forward to it. It is going to be a new experience for me, I have never been to South Africa, so trying to just prepare myself and do well there,” he added.

“If I look back, I got a couple of starts which I feel I could have made into substantial scores. Those two starts I got were supposed to be converted, but you know that’s how it goes for a batsman, sometimes you get starts and you are not able to convert them. I don’t think there’s any point talking about it right now. I am just looking forward to the season coming up and try to do better.”

Talking about his experience of playing in the India XI, the right-hander expressed his delight of being a part of the team. Karun became only the second Indian to score a triple hundred in Test cricket when he smashed an unbeaten 303 against England in December last year.

“Honestly, I was fortunate enough to get to play in the XI. So I was very happy, learning new things from everyone around and playing Test cricket. I was really enjoying myself and not thinking too much about it. But the competition is very high and it’s healthy competition. There’s nothing to worry about there, I am not thinking too much, just looking forward,” he said.

Explaining about his plans for South Africa, Karun told that it would be a new experience for him as he has never been to South Africa before and understanding the conditions there would be a new learning for him.

“It will be a new experience to go to South Africa for the first time, to experience those conditions and see how it is to play cricket there. It is a stepping stone to do well and get myself back into the Test team. Even looking at it that way, I am looking forward and just trying to be positive,” he told.

The Karnataka batsman was successful against the Englishmen but failed against Australia. Talking about the Australia series, he admitted that they do have more aggression in comparison.

“There was a lot a difference, the Australians were more at you. Even the English were good but the Australians had more aggression I felt,” he explained. “And we had lost the first game and that made it even more difficult for us and it put them on a high because England never got a sniff also. That also helped Australia.”

The failure in Australia series did affect his mindset as he was not in the zone for the first half of the Indian Premier League with Delhi Daredevils, the team he led after regular skipper Zaheer Khan was out with an injury.

“At the end of the season, after the Australia series, I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind because I was thinking too much about how I should be playing and how well I should be doing for Delhi rather than just looking at the ball and reacting. It took me half the season to realise I was doing that. The second half was a little better I felt, just looked at the ball and played how the ball came down. Those were the things I learnt this season,” he said.

“Everyone has their own style,” he said. “I don’t think I should change who I am to try and lead eleven people. I can still lead them by being myself and do it in my way. I have been captain on several occasions and I just enjoy the fact that whenever I am captain I do well. So, I have that positive mind frame when I am captain. It has been the same case from the U19 days to the Ranji trophy last year when I captained, we did well and I scored runs. It is obviously an extra responsibility, but generally when I am batting that kind of feeling doesn’t come,” Karun added.

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