Nair triple ton puts In­dia in com­mand against Eng­land

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Karun Nair’s scin­til­lat­ing triple cen­tury yes­ter­day put In­dia in com­mand of the fi­nal Test as Eng­land faced the up­hill task of sur­viv­ing on a fifth day wicket in Chen­nai. Right-handed Nair, who fin­ished on 303 not out, reached the land­mark with a bound­ary be­fore In­dia de­clared their first in­nings on 759-7, their high­est ever Test score.

In­dia amassed a lead of 282 runs while Eng­land ended the day on 12 with­out loss, with skip­per Alas­tair Cook (three) and Keaton Jen­nings (nine) at the crease.

“We are 3-0 up (in the five-match se­ries), so I think they are, you know, al­ready out of the game,” an ec­static Nair told re­porters af­ter his epic knock. “It (pitch) is slowly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing. And there are foot­marks there so I think we just have to bowl well and get the wick­ets. Good bowl­ing does get you wick­ets on any sur­face,” said Nair.

Nair, 25, was play­ing in just the third Test match of his ca­reer. He recorded his maiden cen­tury in the morn­ing ses­sion be­fore ex­pertly con­vert­ing it into a dou­ble and then a triple in the evening.

He be­came only the third bats­man to covert a maiden Test hun­dred into a triple cen­tury, join­ing the elite com­pany of West Indies’ Garry Sobers (365 not out) and Aus­tralia’s Bob Simp­son (311).

Nair’s knock came off 381 balls and was laced with 32 fours and four sixes. He reached the feat with a cut shot off Adil Rashid and raised his hel­met to a stand­ing ova­tion. The triple ton came a day af­ter team­mate Lokesh Rahul missed 200 by a sin­gle run af­ter get­ting out to Rashid on 199 in the fi­nal mo­ments of play on Sun­day. Nair though sur­vived two dropped chances-on 34 on Sun­day and 216 on Mon­day-dur­ing his marathon knock.

“Af­ter I crossed 250, the team man­age­ment had cer­tain plans of go­ing af­ter the bowl­ing and declar­ing,” said Nair, who be­came In­dia’s se­cond triple cen­tu­rion af­ter bat­ting great Viren­der Se­hwag, who has hit two. “So I think within the space of five overs I got to 280-285, that’s when I started think­ing and Jaddu (Ravin­dra Jadeja) kept egging me on to not throw it away and get to 300 eas­ily,” he added.

His 181-run sixth-wicket part­ner­ship with Ravichan­dran Ashwin stood out as In­dia regis­tered their high­est-ever in­nings score of 759, sur­pass­ing their 726 against Sri Lanka in De­cem­ber 2009.

The vis­i­tors have three ses­sions to sur­vive and se­cure a draw. “It’s never easy when it hap­pens, you got to give credit to the In­dian team and their bat­ters. They played ex­tremely well. We just weren’t in the game to­day,” said Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss.

How­ever Bayliss said he was con­fi­dent that his bats­men would stand up to the chal­lenge on the fi­nal day on a good bat­ting wicket. “As con­fi­dent as I can be. They are in a pretty good place. We have been in a tough po­si­tion in the seven Tests (in­clud­ing two in Bangladesh) and have come out and played well the next day.

“We were out there to win this-the last cou­ple of Test matches-so they (Eng­land play­ers) don’t want to get on the plane with a loss,” said Bayliss. The Aus­tralian­born Bayliss also kept him­self out of the Eng­land cap­taincy de­bate, say­ing the skip­per Alas­tair Cook “de­serves” to make his own de­ci­sion. —AFP

CHEN­NAI: Eng­land’s cap­tain Jos But­tler (R) greets In­dia’s Karun Nair (C) af­ter scor­ing a triple-cen­tury (300 runs) dur­ing the fourth day of the fifth and fi­nal Test cricket match be­tween In­dia and Eng­land. —AFP

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