Karun Nair’s stop-start Test career seemed to have hit the top gear when he joined an elite list of cricketers after scoring a historic triple hundred in the Chennai Test against England last year.
The Karnataka batsman had scored an unbeaten 303 to become only the second India to score a triple hundred in Tests after the legendary Virender Sehwag. However, the team surprise one and all by dropping him for the next Test match against Bangladesh to make room for the incumbent Ajinkya Rahane.
But the 25-year old got his due in the Test series against Australia and when everybody was expecting him to cement his spot in the team by building on the historic knock, the right-handed batsman failed miserably, managing 26, 0, 23 and five in the three Test matches that he played against the team from Down Under. A lukewarm performance in this year’s Indian Premier League did not help matters and he is now looking set to lose his place in the Indian team.
Named In India ‘A’ Squad:
While Rohit Sharma regaining fitness is certainly a big worry for Nair, the fact that he has been named in the India ‘A’ squad for the tri-series against Australia ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ in South Africa, it is a big indication that he will not be part of the team that will tour Sri Lanka in July.
He has been selected for the One-Day squad which will be led by Manish Pandey. Now, the first Test between India and Sri Lanka will commence on July 26 at Kandy while the first game of the tri-series starts on the same day with India A taking on Australia A, which effectively rules Nair out of the Sri Lanka tour.
‘He Can Always Be Called Up For Test Team’:
Former India chief selector Kiran More has said despite being named in the India A squad, Nair can be called up for the senior team.
“I don’t think that is the case. He can always be called up for the Test team and someone else can be named to replace him. I do understand your point that the ‘A’ series to South Africa is clashing with the Test series in Sri Lanka, but there is no reason to feel that the selectors are looking to ignore him for the Test series. Also, if Nair does go ahead and travel with the ‘A’ team, it is good for his confidence,” he told CricketNext.
But interestingly Nair has been named as the skipper of the team which will play two four-day games against South Africa ‘A’. And with the dates of those matches clashing with India’s Test against Sri Lanka, it is highly unlikely that Nair would be called up.
Moreover, with Rohit Sharma back in action and looking in good touch, he is expected to get the chance in the middle-order. He had done well in his last Test series against New Zealand and considering Team India’s new policy of favouring the regular players in case of an injury, the limited-overs opener is likely to be included in the playing eleven.