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Monday, December 19, 2016

Karun Nair completes more than what KL Rahul missed out ! ~ a triple century

Chepauk Tests are interesting ! ~ I have been writing about Pongal tests. Remember that famous Test win at Chepauk in Pongal 1975 – bespectacled Anshuman Gaekwad made a good 80 in the 1st innings, while all talk would be on that lovely 97 of Gundappa Viswanath.  Gaekwad  played some gutsy innings taking lot of body hits in Caribbean tours.  In test no. 962 at Jullundhur in Sept 1983, he grinded Pak attack to a patient  201 playing 671 minutes facing 436 deliveries. .. .. then there was Virender Sehwag, the Sultan of Multan who scored the first triple century for India ~ in 2008 against South Africa, in Chepauk, he repeated – making 300 off just 278 balls. 

Not many would have fancied Karun Nair – who is the talk of all media – he had failed in the 1st two tests … yesterday made somewhat ordinary 71 off 136 balls ad today he added 232 more in 245 balls.. the triple coming much faster as Kohli declared immediately on his reaching the great landmark.  Nair rocked on to the backfoot and thumped Adil Rashid’s delivery of the 191st over  to  become only the third player in Test history to turn his maiden hundred into a triple.

Thanks to Karun Nair’s triple century, India amassed 759 for seven – their highest ever Test score – as England’s misery continued in the fifth Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The total also marked the most runs ever conceded by an England side in a Test innings.

Resuming on 391 for four in response to England’s first innings 477, and despite the late loss of KL Rahul one short of his double century on day three, the hosts soon took the first innings lead and from there the game resembled a batting exhibition on a lifeless pitch. After Nair completed his maiden Test century, Murali Vijay departed LBW to Liam Dawson for 29 to leave India 435 for five, but England’s hopes of ending the series with a win soon evaporated as first Ravichandran Ashwin (67) and then Ravindra Jadeja (an entertaining 51 from 55 balls, another wicket for the debutant Dawson) helped themselves to a slice of Indian history. When Jadeja departed, India were on 754 and Nair on 299, and after surviving a half-hearted LBW appeal the stocky Nair flashed the next ball to the boundary to take his score to 303 from 381 balls. On the fourth day alone, he added 232 runs from 245. And with that, his side declared with a lead of 282 runs.

That gave the Indian spin attack a brief run at England’s openers before close but despite some nervous moments Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings will resume on day five with their side 12 without loss, though with little to encourage them of any consolation.

Karun Nair got to his hundred in 185 balls. His double ton in 306 deliveries; and the third in 381 balls. To highlight his remarkable achievement even further, if it needs any added adulation, it is just his third Test match or his third Test inning to be more precise.

He joined Virender Sehwag who is the only other Indian with a triple hundred to his name. The ‘Sultan of Multan’  who has two 300s to his credit was quick to greet him with his signature wording on twitter. 

During his stint in the middle, Karun Nair  became the third Indian batsman to turn a maiden century into a double ton with Dileep Sardesari (200*) and Vinod Kambli (224). He thus became the highest scoring Indian with a maiden Test century.  Before Karun Nair, Gary Sobers (365*) and Bobby Simpson (311) had turned their maiden centuries into a triple ton in the past.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Dec 2016.


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