Give it up. A young man has scored his maiden Triple-Century in his third test match, and I think the best way to pay dividends to him is to be an audience.
It was an innings that combined audacious stroke play, an array of nonchalance, and solid temperament. The blind spot? Hardly did I prognosticate Nair to be reaching the threesome figure mark, not even when he pulled off three uncanny reverse sweeps against tawdry spinners. He got more confident as the innings went past the three figures, luck favored him thrice during that knock. That is of less significance, because for all of us in Cochin it was a case of third time lucky. (Note: The eventual scorecard read 303, which is 17 runs shy of an Indian Record.)
The same luck would evade Lokesh Rahul whose 199 I thought was at equal considering the circumstances. Such is Cricket, it makes the openers accumulation to mere numbers especially when the Middle Order wakes up from the slumber. For a certain Mr. Virender Sehwag, India’s medieval Triple Centurion, slumber read: “Possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
Vintage Viru overlooking the Vantage Point
The takeout from Sehwag’s two triple tons seems entirely different a decade on. The outcome of Multan 2003 or Chepauk 2008 was imminent, from the way the bowl left the bat of the Nawab of Nawafgarh. Of, course. Sehwag hardly moved his feet for he had a vision, both mental and eyesight, which oversaw everything cricket from a vantage point.
That is why Sehwag’s batsmanship have overcome the real “sub-continental homesick blues” during 2003-2010. Spectatorship, crescendo and unpredictability become commonplace in cricket when a batsman is on song. Sehwag sang from the songsheet and made the test cricket prevalent for all of us.
Karun’s Version of Vantage Point
Let us appreciate Karun Nair’s temperament. More than the fours and sixes at stake for the English bowlers, you may have noticed the way in which he ran them ragged, to fro and in between the crease. No real rush, no sense of urgency even as the ball raced through the plush outfield of the Chepauk Stadium. The happiness and discipline were evident from his demeanor that speak of modern Indian batsmen with a hunger for runs.
The man Karun replaced in the squad just about found his, before he got injured and ruled out of the series. It is going to be interesting to see whether “Raw hit” would eventually overhaul the power of hitman version 2.0. Don’t you like the idea of a superhero batting unit with the thirst for accumulation?
Lead by the Galacticos Kohliacos?
The Fellow Malayali
Sure, as lunch turned into Tea time unknowingly I too felt standing up to an ‘original Malayali’ who, for once, scored the magical figure. Regionalism aside, I felt that mainly for the way he played like Karun Nair the batsman we had seen in Domestic cricket. (Note: He plays for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy, i.e., pretty much Kerala’s outskirts if you think about it.)
Two shots stood out for the lazy elegance: A gentle waft to a jaw-dropping bouncer over Joss Butler, the stand-in keeper. And, a cut shot through cover by merely lunging side-on not forward.
Moral: 10 Years post Viru, the bravery of the younger batsmen has risen. Say Hello to Test Cricket’s Nayar Prodigy, if you dare.