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Karun Nair keen to build on a successful season

May 28, 2014 08:34 IST

Karun Nair keen to build on a successful season

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His copybook batting in a slam-bang version has caught the imagination of all and sundry, but young Rajasthan Royals batsman Karun Nair feels he still needs to "improve his game" to don Team India colours.

"Trying to improve one's self and learning the subtle nuances of the game is an ongoing process.

"I am trying to improve my game and take it to the next level. I don't want to pressurise myself with thoughts of India call-up. Obviously, that's (India call-up) what you dream for, but right now I want to focus on my skills," 22-year-old Karnataka batsman said.

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Image: Karun Nair
Photographs: BCCI

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'I am not fully happy with my performance'

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Karun has taken his first big step towards realising his dream of wearing the India jersey. He has been selected among the probables for the India Emerging (Under-23) team that will tour Australia later this year.

"The camp will start from June 5 and I am preparing myself for that," the soft-spoken youngster said.

Despite scoring 330 runs in 11 games, at an impressive strike-rate of 142.24, he still remains unsatisfied.

"I am not fully happy with my performance. Yes, I have got runs in some of the matches, but I would have liked to get a few more. Also the fact that we couldn't qualify for the play-offs hurts," said the Bangalore boy, who had scores of 73 not out, 44, 56, 48 and 50 to show for his efforts as an opener.

"Actually, this is the first season where I got so many chances, but I have played for Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier also. I am happy that I could showcase my skills. I need to thank the Royals' management for the faith that they showed in my abilities. I didn't get runs in the first few matches, but I got a lot of encouragement," he said.

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Image: Karun Nair
Photographs: BCCI

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'Dravid would tell me to remain free and play my natural game'

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Purists have found his style of batting in Twenty20 delightful as he manages a healthy strike-rate with authentic cricketing shots.

"I have always believed in playing to my strengths. I have played the cut shot well this time. I like the inside-out shot as well. But, in general, I try to play all the cricketing shots, which include sweeps or on-drive.

"I don't have fascination for a particular stroke. Whenever I need to know something, I go back to my childhood coach, B Shivanand."

Karun also spoke about the support he got from Rajasthan Royals' mentor, Rahul Dravid.

"He (Dravid) didn't say much, but was always supportive. He would tell me to remain free and play my natural game," said the stylish right-hander, who played an important part in Karnataka's dream season in which they won triple crown (Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Trophy).

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Image: Rahul Dravid
Photographs: BCCI

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'Ranji century against Delhi gave me a lot of confidence'

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Karun said he was boosted by his showing in the Ranji Trophy this season.

"My maiden first-class century in Ranji Trophy (against Delhi at Feroz Shah Kotla) gave me a lot of confidence. It instilled in me a self-belief that I could score centuries at the first-class level. I was happy that I could continue with my good form (scoring centuries in the quarters and semi-finals of Ranji Trophy, as well as 92 in Irani Trophy vs Rest Of India)," said Karun.

He also happiness for senior statemate Robin Uthappa, who is in contention for the Orange Cap after scoring nearly 650 runs this IPL.

"It has been a great year for Karnataka cricket and I am really happy for Robin, as he is a terrific batsman. I wish him well for the upcoming matches," he said.


Image: Karun Nair
Photographs: BCCI

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