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Hail Karun’s superb knock, knock, knock

Hail Karun’s superb knock, knock, knock
Highlights

On a day when innumerable records were shunted to the sidelines, the standout ones were in India posting its highest ever Test innings total of 759/7 declared and the magnificence of the rising sensation Karun Nair. 

December 19 of this year will go down as a Red-Letter Day in the annals of Indian cricket on at least two counts.

On a day when innumerable records were shunted to the sidelines, the standout ones were in India posting its highest ever Test innings total of 759/7 declared and the magnificence of the rising sensation Karun Nair.

Somehow, Chennai has always been part of some of India’s most memorable outings on home soil. It has been ditto this time round.

The imposing total against England should be particularly more delightful because back in 1974 when England recorded the then highest score against India, the Ajit Wadekar-led Indians were shot out for a humiliating 42.

Meanwhile, the country needs to salute Nair, who not only became the second Indian to hit a triple century in Test cricket but he became the third in the world to open his century account with a triple ton.

If he has joined Virender Sehwag in the Indian context, the more notable achievement is that he now is an august member of an illustrious club that boasts of only Sir Gary Sobers and Bob Simpson who first three-figure Test knocks were triple centuries. Karun also became the first Malayalee to score a Test century.

The unbeaten 303 has been a phenomenal knock in that he was not even a first choice in Team India till the other day.

That he seized the initiative speaks volumes about the 25-year-old’s temperament and perhaps the remorse he bore when he was put to the sidelines by selectors, who preferred time-tested ‘veterans’ as a safer bet.

Patience has paid for Nair, who will now be seen in a new light by all those who tended to ignore the talent that he possessed all along.

He has justified the contention of his parents who said “cricket was in his blood from age 10”. It was perhaps this zeal and overbearing drive that has helped the youngster to deliver in a match that mattered and one that put him alongside the biggest of run-getters.

There is already talk that the Kerala native, who plays for Karnataka, has been ‘trained’ by Rahul Dravid, which explains the compelling urge to hang on in the middle.

It is poetic justice perhaps that the young man has survived a near-death experience as a youngster. One does not know whether the killer-instinct was ingrained during a tragic mishap or otherwise but in his hour of glory, Karun did recall the boat accident in Kerala, which he survived earlier this year despite not knowing how to swim.

“I didn't know how to swim” was a poignant statement. Meanwhile, his knock will open a new competition in India in that he and KL Rahul, whose places were not certain, are now all set to give the Dhawans and Rahanes a run for their money.

It is a good augury that Karun has hit form at the most opportune time. The fact that the selectors will be spoilt for choice particularly in batting, implies that Team India is firmly up the ladder.

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