For the last two years, Karun Nair has been struggling to complete his B.Com Honours course. Every time the hopes of getting a degree goes up, the 25-year-old gets called for cricket duty. (HIGHLIGHTS)
However, the Karnataka batsman won’t mind that delay for some more time after his rapid graduation in world cricket, scoring a sensational triple century in the fifth and final Test against England on Monday.
Nair came into the squad after Rohit Sharma suffered a thigh injury, and then was given his debut in the third Test in Mohali after childhood friend and the team’s opener KL Rahul pulled out at the last minute following an elbow injury suffered in the nets. (SCORECARD)
His undefeated 303 makes him only India’s second batsman to score a triple century, emulating Virender Sehwag, who scored 309 and 319. Nair also emulated Gary Sobers and Australia’s Bob Simpson by converting his maiden century into a triple ton.
The batsman who rose to national prominence with prolific scores that took Karnataka to back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15 though saw things not go smoothly in the first two Tests.
In Mohali, in his first innings, he was run out after a mix-up with skipper Virat Kohli for four and didn’t get to bat in the second innings as the hosts wrapped up the game by eight wickets.
In Mumbai, Rahul was back but Ajinkya Rahane broke his finger while taking throw downs in the nets, giving Nair an extended run in the Test side. But he was trapped leg before by England off-spinner Moeen Ali for 13 as India lost quick wickets before the grand recovery by Kohli and Jayant Yadav.
All this meant he wasn’t the only anxious soul at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. His businessman father, Kaladharan Nair, and mother, Prema, a teacher, too were nervous as they sat watching from an enclosure in the stadium.
It also wouldn’t have helped their son’s friend, Rahul, was dismissed on 299 overnight.
“We were nervous as he was upset that he couldn’t score earlier,” Nair Sr said in a chat with reporters as Karun raced towards his triple century in the final session.
Nair’s Bangalore-based parents were thrilled but were never worried their son would make it in cricket despite the concerns on education of his mother.
“He is doing his B.Com Honours. For the last two years he has been trying to complete it but every time he gets called up to play.
“He is a focused boy, and his friends are mostly in cricket,” said Kaladharan. “He has been a prolific scorer from age-group level. So we never put any pressure on him either for cricket or studies, although his mother was worried about education.”
Karun is the youngest of two children. His elder sister is married and settled in the US.
The batsman may still want to get that commerce degree, but after Monday’s grand show, he will for sure be counted among the brightest in cricket.