After making his debut in Ranji Trophy for Karnataka in 2013-14 season, Karun Nair cemented his place in the side quite early © IANS (File Photo)
After making his debut in Ranji Trophy for Karnataka in 2013-14 season, Karun Nair cemented his place in the side quite early © IANS (File Photo)

Born December 6, 1991, Karun Kaladharan Nair is an Indian batsman who first hit the headlines through his domestic performances, followed by Indian Premier League (IPL) heroics and then his call-up to the Indian Cricket Team. After making his debut in Ranji Trophy for Karnataka in 2013-14 season, Nair cemented his place in the side quite early alongside big names like Robin Uthappa and KL Rahul in the batting line up.  Abhishek Kumar presents some interesting facts about the Nair.

1. Debut Ranji Trophy season

Nair made his First-Class debut against Punjab for Karnataka in 2013-14 season of Ranji Trophy. He scored only 21 in his first match but played an impressive knock of 105 runs in his third match for Karnataka. He did not stop there and continued to score centuries in next two games as well just before the final. In just six matches, he scored 494 runs at 61.75 and was the third highest run scorer for his side in that season.

2. Impressive run in IPL 2014

Before making his First-Class debut, Nair had already played in IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2013 edition. He played only two matches and in the next season in 2014, he was bought by Rajasthan Royals (RR), where he was given a long run. He impressed everyone with his batting that season by scoring 330 runs at 33 with three fifties in 11 matches.

3. Broke Gundappa Viswanath and Gul Mohammad’s record

In the 2014-15 season of Ranji Trophy, Karnataka once again reached the finals and Nair was amongst the top batsmen of his team. The final match was played against Tamil Nadu and Nair played the best knock of his career by scoring a mammoth 328 and broke the record of highest individual score in Ranji Trophy final. The previous record holder for this record was Gul Mohammad, who made 319 against Holkar in 1946-47 season. He also broke Gundappa Viswanath‘s record of highest score of 247 by a Karnataka player in Ranji Trophy final. Viswanath made that huge score against Uttar Pradesh in 1977-78 season. Also, Nair’s 328 was the 10th highest individual score by any batsman in Ranji history and second highest by a Karnataka batsman after KL Rahul’s 337. Nair’s 328 was also the fifth longest knock by a batsman in First-Class cricket as he played for 872 minutes.

4. Expensive uncapped player in IPL 2016

After an impressive run in IPL 2014, Nair failed to display the similar kind of performances in IPL 2015 and since RR were suspended for two-years from the tournament, so he was back in the auction. Nair was paid 40 times more of his base price of INR 10 Lakh by Delhi Daredevils (DD) franchise in 2016 IPL auction. He was bought for INR 4 crores by DD and once again impressed with his batting. He scored 357 runs at 35.70 with three fifties from 14 matches.

5. Awful ODI debut

Nair made his ODI debut for India in the first match against Zimbabwe on June 11, 2016. It was a pretty forgettable debut for him as he got out after scoring only 7. In the next ODI, he once again missed the chance of scoring big and got out on 39 but that knock was quite impressive.

6. Idol

Nair idolises both Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Nair revealed the same in an interview with CricBuzz and said that in his childhood, he used to idolise only Tendulkar but later Dravid also came into his list of idols.

7. Dravid’s advice

Nair played under Dravid’s mentorship for RR. As per Nair, Dravid gave him the confidence to perform at higher level and he always remembers his one advice. “You have everything to play international cricket. Don’t change a thing in how you play,” said Dravid to Nair.

8. Surprise call for Tests

Nair was no where around the Indian Test side but a sudden injury to opener Shikhar Dhawan led to his call up in the squad for third Test against New Zealand, which will be played in Indore. He was retained for the England tour.

9. Teams

So far, Nair has represented RCB, RR and DD in IPL. In domestic cricket, he has played for Karnataka, South Zone and Mangalore United in Karnataka Premier League (KPL).

10. Family

Nair was born to a Malayali couple — Kaladharan Nair and Prema Nair in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. His father usually watches his innings from the ground.

11. Survived a boat capsize

Nair survived a boat capsize in Kerala in the month of July. He escaped from the jaws of death and had to be rescued. By now, he had already played international cricket for India.

12. Second triple centurion from India

On December 19, 2016, less than two weeks after his 25 birthday, Nair created history when he became only the second Indian batsman to score a triple century in Test cricket. Nair made his debut in Mohali and played his second Test due to Rahane’s injury.

Despite the two failures, he was persisted with in the Chennai Test where he slammed 303 not out from 381 balls, helping India register 759 for 7, their highest in Test cricket. Nair became only the second Indian after Sehwag to score a triple ton in Tests. In fact, he became the third batsman after Garry Sobers and Bob Simpson to convert his maiden hundred to a triple century.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with CricLife and CricketCountry.com. He can be followed at @abhik2593)