Karnataka batsman Karun Nair on Monday entered an exclusive club, joining Virender Sehwag as the second Indian to score a triple-century in Tests. Nair, in his third Test, finished not out on 303 as India declared with their highest score in Tests, a massive 759/7, at the iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
At 25 years and 13 days, Nair also overtook Sehwag’s Indian record of youngest Test triple-centurion. Sehwag – who tweeted his congratulations to Nair – had been 25 years and 160 days in 2004 when he hit that epic 309 against Pakistan in Multan.
India’s previous highest total in Test cricket was the 726/9 declared scored against Sri Lanka in Mumbai in December 2009. In that Test – which MS Dhoni’s team won to become No 1 in the ICC Test Championship – Sehwag had fallen short of scoring India’s third triple-century when he was out for 293. On day four in Chennai, Nair ticked off several individual landmarks for an Indian batsman, including going past Sehwag’s 293 and on the way to a rare triple-century.
Sehwag’s scores of 319, scored on the same ground versus South Africa in 2008, and 309 in Multan, are India’s highest individual scores.
The other milestones for Nair include becoming the first Indian batsman to convert a maiden Test hundred into a triple-hundred, the first Indian batting at No 5 or lower to reach 300, and the highest score by an Asian batsman as a maiden Test century.
Nair, who played two ODIs for India, got his chance to be a part of the Test squad after Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the third Test versus England following a minor fracture on his left thumb. His scores before this match were 4 and 17. During his landmark effort, Nair added 161 for the fourth wicket with KL Rahul and 181 for the sixth with R Ashwin, ultimately helping India gain a lead of 282 in reply to England’s 477. It wasn’t a chance-less innings, for Nair was dropped on 34 and 217 and should have been stumped on 246 – there were several edges that fell short, too – but full credit to the rookie for shoring up the situation and pressing on from where his Karnataka stalemate Rahul left off.