As Karun Nair neared each century mark, it wasn’t the runs he had scored but anxiety whether he could miss out by letting pressure get to him after close friend and opener KL Rahul was dismissed on 199. (HIGHLIGHTS)
After becoming only India’s second batsman to score a Test triple century with an unbeaten 303 against England on Monday, Nair said he put those negative thoughts away.
“Obviously there are some nerves going on,” he told a news conference. “You can’t be thinking negative at that point. You have to watch the ball and get over that moment. You have to feel that moment, being there.”
It wasn’t just impending landmarks, but failure in his first two Tests also weighed on him. “There is always pressure in every game. I got run out in the first game and didn’t get many runs in the second but there was no extra pressure I put on myself.” (SCORECARD)
The 25-year-old said the triple century was never on his mind till he and Ravindra Jadeja were asked to accelerate in the final session to put England under pressure.
“It never crossed my mind. Once I crossed 250, the team management had certain plans of going after the bowling and declaring. I think within the space of five overs I got to 280-285. That’s when I started thinking and Jaddu kept egging me on to not throw it away and get to 300 easily.”
Triple century wasn’t fresh territory for Nair, having scored 328 in the Ranji Trophy win over Tamil Nadu last year. Asked to compare, he said: “There is a big difference. This is a Test match, a far bigger achievement for me. But having said so, that innings was more taxing. I played a lot longer. I played for over two days there.
“Still, the Chennai heat does get to you. It is just an amazing moment in my career to get such a milestone and I’d like to just go on.”
Though Rahul missed out on a double, Nair was sure the opener will make amends soon. “We started playing cricket together and have been together since then. At every stage, if he has gone ahead I have caught up. Or if I have gone ahead, he has caught up.
“That healthy rivalry is good. I feel bad for him that he didn’t get the double hundred, but he will get one very soon.”
Nair surprisingly appeared to show little emotion on reaching the triple century, but that wasn’t deliberate.
“There are a lot of things that go in my head that I want to do but at that moment it just doesn’t come out. I think I will just have to get more hundreds for me to show emotion.”
So when does he show more emotion? “There is always the shower to do all these things.”