The Curious Case of Karun Nair
15 men in the Indian Test Squad for the England tour who managed to feature in the starting XI in at least a game out of the five matches, and then come the three unlucky ones, Karun Nair, Prithvi Shaw and Shardul Thakur.
Now, it's pretty comprehensible and justifiable, why Shardul Thakur has not been given a try as of now. Why? Because of the current Indian pace attack, who have established them as India's one of the greatest fast bowling unit ever, even in the absence of the swing-master Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
What about Prithvi Shaw then? Well, similar to what Sanjay Manjrekar once tweeted, KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan may be given their last test just to be sure they don't belong in the Indian Test XI. So, seems like Prithvi Shaw will get at least one test match later against the Windies.
Then, what about Karun Nair? Why has he been lounged for more than a year, in spite of being included in the squad most times? Don't look at me, I don't have any clue about this.
If he performs badly, withdraw him out of the squad, if not, have him in the squad and give him at least one match; at least in a dead-rubber match, where even Hanuma Vihari (who was added later into the squad) got his debut match. That's not equitable for Karun Nair at all. With the dreadfully performing Indian batting line-up (Kohli excluded), Karun Nair could not make things worse than this.
Rishabh Pant makes his debut, comes to bat and opens his account with a six, getting into the headlines in no time; his failures are being pardoned by the Indian team and then there's Karun Nair, a triple-hundred scorer, who has no clue what's happening with him.
Even the legendary Sunil Gavaskar came up with severe criticism against the Indian team management for not handing Karun Nair, who scored a triple-century in his last encounter against England, a match, that too a dead-rubber match. Speaking after the toss in the pre-match presentation for Sony Six, Sunny said, "There is no argument that is going to ever satisfy me. What has Karun Nair done not to get in? I know he has not been your favourite player. You don't want to pick him. He scores a triple hundred. You leave him out [for allrounder Jayant Yadav in Pune]. He fails in a couple of games [against Australia in the rest of the series]. You leave him out. You have brought him back in the team. It could be the selectors who have brought him back. The team management probably doesn't want him. And that's why they haven't given him the opportunity to play in this game. How many Indians have got triple hundreds? Virender Sehwag twice and Karun Nair once. You don't give that man an opportunity. So what are you trying to tell him?"
Some more Indian personalities and experts too displayed their dissatisfaction on what is happening with Nair's career.
India's selectors have just made a damning statement of what they think of Karun Nair as a player. Very very hard on him. Would love to know what he was told when the team was announced.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 7, 2018
It’s quite intriguing that no one is talking about the possibility of playing Karun Nair...If India wants to play 6 batsmen, he should be the first choice. If bowling a little is the deal-breaker, it’s another matter... #EngvInd— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 7, 2018
Hanuma vihari is an awesome youngster with out a doubt,but the right selection would have been Karun Nair ,system and process are the roots for success in the long run #ENGvIND— subramani badrinath (@s_badrinath) September 7, 2018
Hanuman Vihari getting a test match ahead of Karun Nair is perplexing. Karun must have been singularly unimpressive in the nets. Reminds me of 1986, where when Chetan Sharma was injured, Madan Lal who was playing League cricket was preferred to Prabhakar who was in the squad.— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) September 7, 2018