Dubai, Sep 30: Karun Nair, only the second Indian to score a test triple century, feels it's high time for people to stop talking about that milestone and look at the future.
Nair, 26, has played three Tests – of six overall – since the 303 runs against England in Chennai in December 2016; opportunities have been scarce despite Nair joining Virender Sehwag in a very elite list of Indian batsmen to have hit a triple century.
"It's been two years already and I think it's time we moved on. The past is gone and we have to look ahead; i don't think it should be a disadvantage at all. For all, it can only be an advantage, people know what I can do now, I don't need to prove it to me or to anyone that I can score runs at the international level because I have done it before. That kind of self-confidence does not need to prove to anyone," Nair told Cricbuzz before India's 15-man squad for the home Tests against the Windies was named on Saturday, 29 September.
Nair's name didn't figure in the squad. His last test appearance remains the game against Australia in Dharamsala in March 2017, when he scored 5 in his only innings in an eight-wicket Indian win. When asked, whether he feels disappointed about the lack of opportunities at the highest level, Nair said, "It's just the way it is. The team management and everyone else make their decisions and you as players have to respect it and move forward with that. All I can do is let the bat do the talking'.
"As professional cricketers, we have to make sure that we have a job on our hand on the day and obviously, once the day is over, you can go back and reflect on what has happened. But during the game, we are solely focused on what's happening in the middle and we are focussing on the job at hand". He added.
Nair remains positive and focused, saying that the hunger to represent India hasn't diminished. "For me, it's not very difficult to motivate myself," he said. "I want to keep getting better every day and that was the case whenever i was in the team – be it fitness, be it my batting or be it my fielding. All the time i was just trying to improve my skills. Obviously, I want to get an opportunity soon, i want to get a big score soon, i am very hungry for that and everyone knows that only two people (Indians) have got a triple hundred. I am one of them. I don't have to prove anything to anyone ... all i want is to get out there and i am as hungry as ever to do it again.
"If there's an option of going and playing games, you can do that. But i meant it in a way, you want to be in those situations and you want to be playing there as well. If there's an opportunity where you can go and play matches, it's obviously a good thing, you can keep scoring runs and be in touch. To play matches is better to be in touch than playing at the nets."
Nair was in England with the Indian Test team for all five games, but didn't get a look-in, even as Hanuma Vihari, drafted in for only the last two games, got a chance to make his debut at The Oval and grabbed the opportunity with 56 in the first innings.
"Everyone who gets to the international stage, works so hard, gets so many runs at the domestic level, at the India A level, otherwise we can't reach the top. To think about going back again and coming in is hard, it's never easy to go back and come back again. It takes double the effort," Nair pointed out.
"Obviously, I want to be playing games. Like i said, you still want to be at that stage, you want to be experiencing those moments, you want to be a part of that... playing for your country is all that you have dreamt of all your life. To have an experience like that is a big thing.
"I've been spending a lot of time with (Shanker) Basu sir, our trainer and Sanjay Bangar sir as well, our batting coach. Obviously a lot of throw downs and a lot of net sessions. According to Basu sir, I am the fittest person in the team right now. I am very proud of that and I just want to keep improving on that." (UNI)