In December, Karun Nair became Indian cricket’s latest heartthrob after the Karnataka batsman’s unbeaten 303 against England at Chennai, in only his third Test.
While life hasn’t been the same for Nair post his triple ton, Nair’s batting graph too seems to have taken a beating.
The 25-year-old has scored only 58 runs in five matches (four innings), clearly struggling with his form in IPL 10.
Nair’s poor run, which is hurting Delhi Daredevils’ momentum in the middle overs as well, has raised fresh concerns for coach Rahul Dravid and Co over whether to continue with Nair at No 3 or take a decision on promoting someone else.
In Delhi Daredevils’ last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday, Nair posted his best score (33) in the 15 innings he has played since his whirlwind triple ton.
That Nair is clearly short on confidence was evident at the way he approached his innings against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this week. He took 17 balls for his 21 in which he managed to hit just one boundary. Out of the 15 dot balls Delhi Daredevils played in their 168/7 in 20 overs, Nair consumed 10 dots.
While Nair succeeded in the last IPL for Delhi Daredevils at No 3 with 357 runs in 12 innings, the second highest for the team, this time around Dravid and Co can push the likes of Shreyas Iyer, who has proved his worth at the same position for Mumbai in the domestic season in the last few seasons.
While pressure may be mounting on Nair to prove his worth, Delhi Daredevils’ senior cricketer Angelo Mathews backed his teammate to come good. “Karun Nair is a fine player who can win us games and is on the verge of winning a game or two. It’s quite difficult to be consistent throughout the season,” said Mathews.
The triple century seems to be weighing on Karun Nair. He scored just 54 runs in four innings in the Test series against Australia with his footwork looking a bit unsure. With key players JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock missing, DD will need all their batsmen to fire in unison.