Karun Nair has often topped the run charts in the Indian domestic scene and the Karnataka batsman is very promising. Nair, who has been instrumental in Karnataka’s success over the years, was named in India’s squad for the third test against Sri Lanka last year but didn’t make it to the playing XI. After another satisfying domestic season, Nair has set his eyes upon the national team. In an interview with Cricbuzz, Nair said that he was eager to perform for India and do well in tests. Below, are the excerpts from his interview.
There was no hat-trick of Ranji titles with Karnataka, but you must be happy with the runs scored.
Personally, I think it was an okay season. It was not very bad, but not very good either. I got a couple hundred and another couple fifties, and before that, I also had a hundred in the India-A game against South Africa. So, overall it turned out to be a decent season. But as a team, it wasn’t a great season for us. Karnataka didn’t play as a team and we never played up to our potential.
For a youngster, how important is that feeling of being a part of the squad, especially when you are surrounded with international cricketers?
It is a great feeling. We are made to feel as one team and one family, no differentiation. That was the most pleasing aspect of being a part of Rajasthan Royals. Everyone becomes really approachable then. You could go and talk to anyone, from Shane Watson to Steve Smith. And I think it showed on the field as well, because we played as a team, never as individuals.
Tendulkar and Dravid belong to different schools of cricket, in terms of batting. So how do you balance between those two ideologies?
Both are my idols. While Tendulkar got me into the game, today my idol is Dravid. My game is completely modeled on his approach and tips, on his work ethics and I have followed his game closely for a longer period of time. Perhaps it is because I have seen him with Karnataka and now I am working closely with him. But it’s been three years now. I am still in awe of him actually when he is around and talking to me.
You have also worked with Dravid in the India-A set-up, and must have spoken with him coming up to play for Karnataka. Is there any difference in how he approaches the game for different formats and tournaments?
No, I don’t think there is any difference in the way he goes about things. He has the same passion whether working in the India-A set-up or in franchise cricket. I don’t think he differentiates, and I understand why. Cricket needs to be treated the same, wherever you play, irrespective of the format. Give respect to the game, because what you are is because of the game.
This batch of players – with Shreyas Iyer here and Manish Pandey elsewhere – is just one step away from the Indian team. Is there a bit of healthy rivalry to see who gets there first?
I don’t think about the competition in that sense, rather I think about playing for the team and winning games for whichever team I am playing for. It is a better way to think rather than worry about the competition. Everyone has the same goal, to play for India, but it is more important to keep the process right and the rest will take care of itself.