Karun Nair has been one of the most consistent performers for Karnataka in the Ranji trophy over the years. Photo Courtesy: Rajesh Khilare on Twitter
Karun Nair has been one of the most consistent performers for Karnataka in the Ranji trophy over the years. Photo Courtesy: Rajesh Khilare on Twitter

With a First-Class average of over 52 and a string of consistent performances, it is not surprising to see Karun Nair make it to the Indian Test team. Karun in the domestic circuit has done incredibly well for Karnataka over the last 3-4 seasons and was therefore rewarded with a call-up for the final Test against Sri Lanka last year. He was subsequently awarded with his international debut in the One-Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe earlier this year. With injuries to Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Karnataka teammate KL Rahul, Karun once again finds him in the mix and is most likely to make his Test debut against England in the upcoming series. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

Karun was set for big things when he made 328 in the Ranji Trophy 2014-15 final. Even in the current season he has scored at over 100 in his three matches, which is a testimony to his consistent performance. There were calls for selection of Yuvraj Singh against the England side, but the selectors have always wanted to look towards the future and perhaps give Karun a go. Karun has often played at no. 4 for Karnataka, but will have to bat a little lower at No. 6 for India. Rohit was India s choice for No. 6 and his absence has paved way for Karun in that slot. But there is a stiff competition for that slot as well. Virat Kohli picked Ravichandran Ashwin over Wriddhiman Saha for the No. 6 slot during the West Indies series.

Ashwin scored a couple of centuries in that position and while it will make sense to persist with him, India would rather go in with a batsman in that position, and bat Ashwin lower down the order, which will give India a bit more depth in their batting. If Ashwin bats at No. 6, it will perhaps be only when India decide to field three spinners in the side, which is a possibility. India have picked four spinners in the squad this time and have indicated that they will look to spin England out of the series. Ashwin along with Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra have worked effectively in the past to help India to memorable wins. England too have the likes of Adil Rashid, Zafar Ansari and Gareth batty in their squad and they will look to dismantle India, just like they did In 2013. READ: Virat Kohli vs Joe Root: Statistical analysis

On turning pitches like India, runs are of the essence. If India even go in with a couple of spinners, they can still do a lot of damage, along with a couple of seamers. What they need is a quality batsman. India have a long season ahead and it will not be the worst idea to give someone new a try. India also have Hardik Pandya in their side. He can bowl fast and is also a good batsman. If he were to come in, it will surely in place of another fast bowler.

Coming back to Karun s form, he scored 494 at 61.75 in 2013-14, 709 at 47.26 in the next season and last season he scored 500 runs at 50. Karun has also led Karnataka to wins in a couple of matches in this season, in the absence of regular skipper Vinay Kumar. He is already off to a brilliant start this season with 326 runs from his four innings for Karnataka. The most striking part about Karun is the fact that he has the appetite to score big. He is never happy with 40s and 50s. Once he gets his eye in, he can score big hundreds. READ: Virat Kohli vs England: Time for India s Test captain to redeem himself

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 was another stepping stone in Karun s career. Karun was purchased for a whooping Rs. 4 crores by Delhi daredevils (DD) from a base price of Rs. 10 lakhs. He left the world stunned with the price paid for him, but he delivered. He scored 357 from 12 innings at a strike rate of over 120 and moreover was only behind Quinton de Kock as the leading run-scorer for the franchise. It is not a secret that a good performance in the IPL will surely get you into the limelight for national contention. But Karun along with a good show in the domestic circuit, followed it up with a good season in the IPL as well, which the selectors would have certainly taken a note of. Karun is still 24 and has a long career ahead of him. Even if does not make it to the playing XI, he will learn a lot being amidst players like Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and also playing under Anil Kumble tutelage. Playing for India will give him and the team an opportunity to see if he can play at the highest level.

He can also bowl a bit of off-spin, just like Rohit. He is used very sporadically in First-Class cricket, but can chip in with a wicket or two here and there. With spin most likely to rule the roost in India, seeing Karun roll his arm for a couple of overs will not be a surprise. READ: Yuvraj Singh Why one of India s finest all-rounders is getting cold shoulder?

There is no doubt that Karun deserves to be in the Indian team at this juncture, regardless of many on social media thinking otherwise. Yes, there are perhaps other worth contenders for a spot, but they will have to wait a bit longer. With a long season ahead for India. We may see many new faces in the Indian Test side, but for now this is a perfect chance for Karun to make his mark and ensure that he remains in consideration for series to come, quashing close competitions from other talented players. At Rajkot, we may see Karun Nair making his much awaited Test debut.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry.com. He is a sports enthusiast and a keen observer of cricket, the contests, and its personalities. When not tracking cricket, he follows the world s soccer leagues and is somewhat partial towards Liverpool. His Twitter handle is @pramz)