After scoring 303 not out against England in 2016, Karun Nair, the stylish right-hand batsman of India, lost his momentum and in the process lost his place from the national side as well. Nair is back amongst runs and is making the most of his opportunity. He had a great domestic season. He led Karnataka to Vijay Hazare Trophy title and was among the top run-getters in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. From opening in the domestic season to playing in the middle-order for Kings XI Punjab in IPL, Nair has proven his flexibility as a player as well. In a recent chat with the CricketSoccer.com, 26 years old Nair disclosed that the dreams for a comeback in the Indian team and his recent performances have helped him to become mentally stronger.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): After making your debut in international cricket, you had a dream run in test format for India, scoring the mammoth triple century against England. But suddenly you lost your rhythm and got dropped. How would you explain this?
Karun Nair (KN): It’s been a roller coaster ride for me. I have seen ups and downs in life. That triple century against England is past for me. It was a great experience. But things were not the same after that innings. There was the pressure of expectation. People thought that every time I take the field, I would score big. It’s not that easy. Getting dropped was a tough phase for me. But I concentrated on domestic cricket. Things are going in the right direction. I am aiming to keep the momentum going and convert every good start into a better knock. I have regained my confidence.
CS: How did you overcome the psychological battle?
KN: I have learnt that it is important to maintain an emotional balance and not go overboard with things. Now, it doesn’t affect me as much as it did before. I can only do my bit and score at the domestic level. Rest is up to the selectors and the team management, what I do know is that I will be a better player next time I get an opportunity.
CS: You have opened the innings for your state team Karnataka. You have batted at number five for the Indian team as well as for Kings XI Punjab. Which is your favourite batting order?
KN: I have no preferences and I am open to batting at any position. The coach and the captain know their players best and I respect any decision taken by them. I want to play and do well in every position so that I can prove that I have the ability to help my team in any situation. I am totally flexible as far as batting order is concerned.
CS: How do you keep yourself motivated?
KN: I think there is a gradual improvement in everyone. The tougher the games you play, the tougher you get mentally. You need to get better with each level you go to. So, I think, you need to be playing at that level to actually get mentally stronger at that level.
CS: You play sweep shot with ease. Do you give extra effort at the nets while practising sweep shots? You have perfected the shot…
KN: I don’t think anyone has perfected any shot. Yes, I have been playing that shot really well and you have to work on certain shots. It’s a really important shot against the spinners, especially when the ball is turning. So I have worked pretty hard on it and I am happy that I have been able to play it so well.
CS: What is your fitness mantra?
KN: The biggest achievement that I gained from the national team dressing room is to become a fitness fanatic. Our captain Virat Kohli is very very serious as far as fitness is concerned. We follow a strict diet and work out hard. I believe that if you keep yourself super fit, you are bound to play more matches in your career. I only try to achieve that.
CS: When could we expect your comeback in the Indian team?
KN: I am just working hard on improving my game and fitness and everything around my game. I am waiting for the opportunities that I’ll get and to do well for my country in any match that I play. Let’s keep the finger crossed.