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IPL 2018: Kings XI Punjab’s Karun Nair not worried about batting position

Karun Nair, who has played six Tests and 2 ODIs for India, is currently a part of the Kings XI Punjab team in IPL 2018.

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2018 10:23 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Kings XI Punjab,Karun Nair,IPL 2018
Kings XI Punjab cricketer Karun Nair has scored one half-century in IPL 2018 yet.(AFP)

Karun Nair has been going through a high this domestic season. He led Karnataka to Vijay Hazare Trophy title and was among the top run-getters in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

The 26-year-old batsman has carried that form into the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well. Nair has held his own, with 186 runs in six innings, in a Kings XI Punjab batting line-up that boasts of in-form Chris Gayle and KL Rahul.

READ | IPL 2018: Ankit Rajpoot’s fifer in vain, Sunrisers Hyderabad win by 13 runs vs Kings XI Punjab

In an interview, Nair says his recent performances have helped him emerge stronger from the slump in form since becoming India’s second triple centurion in Tests. After scoring 303* against England in 2016, Nair could not maintain the momentum and lost his place in the national team.

A consistent domestic season helped him earn India Test cap in 2016, and this time around he hopes good things to happen yet again after a great season.

Excerpts:

How do you analyse the high of triple ton vs England and then your exit from national team?

It’s been a roller coaster ride in the last one and half years. I have seen ups and downs in life. Life has come a full circle for me. I am mentally in a better space in the last one year. Things are going in the right direction. I am aiming to keep the momentum going and convert every good start into a better knock.

READ | IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik focuses on pitch ahead of Delhi Daredevils clash

Your thoughts after the initial round of matches?

It’s been a good start but it could have been better. Against RCB (out for 29) I could have played better and for a longer time. I played the wrong shot at the wrong time. But as long as the team is winning I am happy.

You have so far scored one half-­century, while in other matches you could not convert good starts. It’s almost like 2017 for Delhi Daredevils?

Last year was a different season altogether. I am not looking back at what happened last year. It’s a new IPL. I have had a good start. There are so many matches left. For now, my only aim is to make full use of the time that I get in the middle.

You open for Karnataka in Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy, but in KXIP you are playing in middle­-order. Is that a hindrance?

It’s obviously a different challenge. I want to play and do well in every position, so that I can prove that I have ability to help my team in any situation. I am totally flexible. As long as I am scoring runs, I don’t think too much about my batting position.

READ | Gautam Gambhir’s stepping down will be a tough act to follow

How different it is to score runs in IPL than in any other domestic tournaments?

It’s a huge platform for domestic cricketers, because it’s almost like an international tournament. There are so many overseas players, it’s like international cricket. If you can do well in IPL, you are putting yourself in a good position to play in international cricket.

Being a batsman, do you think you have the advantage over the bowlers in T20 cricket?

I think it’s the bowlers who win the game in T20 cricket. If you have a great bowling side, you can defend any total. Bowlers win you low-scoring matches. As far as Kings XI Punjab are concerned we have great balance in our bowling department as well as the team in general.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 09:17 IST