Sanjay Bangar: Karun Nair Deserves A Test Comeback
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Karun Nair Deserves A Test Comeback, Says Sanjay Bangar

Karun Nair scored a triple century in only his third Test match (Courtesy: Reuters)
Karun Nair scored a triple century in only his third Test match (Courtesy: Reuters)

Sanjay Bangar, former Indian all-rounder and batting coach believes Karnataka batsman Karun Nair deserves a comeback into the Indian team. Sanjay Bangar feels Karun Nair’s record in domestic cricket is outstanding and that he could be in with an eye in the near future as India will have a hectic schedule after 5 Tests against England.

India’s disappointing batting performance in the WTC final against New Zealand has raised a lot of doubts about the places of a few batsmen including middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. Reports have emerged that the team management wants to try out alternatives like Hanuma Vihari in the Test series against England.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar explained why Karun Nair deserves a chance to once again feature in the Indian team. He also spoke about Hanuma Vihari as a viable alternative.

“Vihari has been a good investment because of his fine contributions in the past. More recently, it was his solid effort in Sydney (2021) in drawing that Test.

“He is a very capable batsman but one player who is in queue for the middle order could be Karun Nair because of his Test match record and also his overall first-class numbers. Karun had one or two average Test matches and he was sidelined,” Sanjay Bangar opined.

File photo of Karun Nair (Source: Twitter)
File photo of Karun Nair (Source: Twitter)

Karun Nair was at the top of the world in December 2016 as he became just the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to smash a triple-hundred in Test match cricket. After his heroics against England in Chennai, Karun Nair played five more Tests for India but lack of returns in the following series against Australia saw him lose his place in the team.

He was, however, picked in the Indian squad for the tour of England in 2018 but he did not get a single game and was dumped from the set-up after the series.

Karun Nair made the debut for India in 2016 against but after playing six Test matches and two ODIs, he was dropped from the team. In 2017, he last played for the Indian team. In six Test matches he has scored 374 runs while in two ODIs, he has amassed 46 runs. In 82 FC games, he managed 5631 runs averaging an impressive 48.12.

Sanjay Bangar Hopes Ajinkya Rahane Will Find Some Form

Ajinkya Rahane’s sensational Boxing Day hundred that won India the MCG Test seems to be a distant memory now. He has since been inconsistent and there have been talks about him getting dropped for the England series. However, Sanjay Bangar believes Ajinktya Rahane is a capable player and that he is hopeful that the Indian Test vice-captain will find some form.

“Ajinkya has always performed when India has won a Test abroad but even he would like to have himself a big series (with complete dominance) something which has eluded him so far in his career.

“He has been a keen student, a very motivated player besides a thinker of the game. And, I hope in future he can score heavily in an entire series and things can get better from there for him,” Sanjay Bangar signed off.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Sanjay Bangar went on to add that Ajinkya Rahane has always performed for India but is yet to have a mega-series where he can have his full dominance. He has done great for India in overseas conditions but is yet to have a series that will be fully able to highlight his career. However, Ajinkya Rahane was one of six batsmen to have registered more than 1000 runs in the WTC cycle 2019-21 (1095 runs).

India’s second assignment in the Test Championship (2021-23) will be against defending champions New Zealand at home. Their third assignment will be against South Africa in December-January in the Rainbow nation before hosting Sri Lanka in a 3-match Test series.

After a lengthy break from the longest format of the game, India will meet Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will take place in the second half of 2022. The team’s second WTC campaign will conclude with a 2-match Test series against Bangladesh.

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