Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who was retained by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the 2020 season, believes that the door for an international recall is still open and feels that he needs to capitalize by performing in the IPL. The 2019 season saw Nair play just one game all season for the KXIP franchise.
Karun Nair might predominantly be a red-ball player who has a pretty underwhelming record in white-ball cricket, but the right-hander, whose last India appearance came in Test cricket three years ago, has not yet put his national ambitions to bed - even in white-ball cricket. The 28-year-old was purchased for a whopping 5.60 crore by Kings XI Punjab in 2018, and although opportunities were few and far between last season, where he played a solitary match, the arrival of long-term mentor Anil Kumble could work in the favour of the right-hander, who is still aiming for a renaissance.
Ahead of the new season, Nair has claimed that he is still positive that the door is open for national selection, and has asserted that it’s important for him to capitalize on the gargantuan platform that is the IPL.
“IPL is such a big platform for every single player that comes from India. Whatever opportunities I can get, I’ll be looking to do as well as I can to help Kings XI win games. If I can consistently do well then opportunities will come. Just looking at it one game and one opportunity at a time,” Nair was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The Kumble factor might prove key to Nair’s season and the 28-year-old expressed his sheer satisfaction over the arrival of his fellow statesman. Nair revealed that he has, in fact, already had plenty of fruitful tactical and non-tactical conversations with the former India coach, who will be taking charge of KXIP in the forthcoming edition.
“Really happy to have him (Kumble) around. He was the coach when I was given my India debut. I was able to do well also when he was the coach. So only positive feelings to talk about. It’s a new year and new season so it’s important for us to prepare well because all of us haven’t played in so long and then hit the ground running straightaway.
“The conversations have been good. We’ve only had a couple of sessions, interesting and exciting for everyone. The players are charged up and in great spirits and I’m sure over the course of the next 20 days, there will be many more conversations and plenty of tactics being discussed, roles being given out.”
Kumble won’t be the only statesman by Nair’s side as KXIP also boasts KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Krishnappa Gowtham, all of whom are the right-hander’s teammates back in the South. Nair stated that it’s a ‘comforting feeling’ to have good friends around him and opined that it could play a role in bonding the team together.
“It gives us a comforting feeling… boys from the same state whom you’ve played so many years together with. Also, we really know each other’s games so well. We can hopefully help each other. That will be really important because we’re playing as a team and do well as a group.”
Nair and KXIP’s first assignment for IPL 2020 will be against a rejuvenated Delhi Capitals side on September 20 at the Dubai International Stadium.