Consequently the IPL contract happened as Karun got signed by Rajasthan Royals and then made his way into the India A side. At both places, his talent shone brightly and seemed like it was only a matter of time before he donned national colors. That happened in 2016 as he made his international debut on India’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe where he featured in a couple of ODIs. In the same year towards the fag end, the Test debut also came in the home series against England and although the starting wasn’t great, he announced his arrival with a fantastic triple century in the same series. The sky was the limit for young Karun who had become only the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to score a triple century in Tests.
Although 2016 was a happening year for Karun professionally, he did nearly have a tragedy personally. During a visit to Kerala for a temple festival, he was a part of a group that went missing in a boat disaster, ultimately rescued by the locals. The triple century was definitely a pleasant shock for the young man but the aftereffects were huge. Expectations obviously soared and his form over the next few innings dipped. The fact that India were playing only five batsmen also meant he had to sit out, considering that he had initially made the XI in place of Ajinkya Rahane who was out due to injury. Following his removal from the Indian Test squad, Karun struggled considerably in the domestic circuit as well.
Even in the IPL where he had moved to Delhi Daredevils and even become captain at one point, Karun couldn’t bounce back completely. However, after reworking himself a bit, the 2017-18 season has been fairly better and he seemed to have put himself back on track. The Kings XI Punjab snapped him up at the 2018 auctions and it’s interesting to see if the fresh start works for Karun. He had produced the odd knock for DD and RR but the need of the hour is a consistent season. With age still on his side, there’s no doubt that Karun will stake his claim sooner than later for a spot in India’s batting order.
IPL – Through the years
A talented Karnataka batsman, Karun Nair. mostly warmed the benches when he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore set-up for two years. He represented RCB in just two matches in 2013 and then he was picked by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2014 season. The move immediately reaped rewards as Karun, part of the top-order, struck three fifties in his maiden season for Rajasthan Royals where he amassed 330 runs at a strike rate of 142.24. He didn’t shine well in the following season, but was an integral member of the Royals’ team which reached the playoffs. Following RR’s two-year-suspension, he was picked by Delhi Daredevils ahead of the 2016 edition. Though his side didn’t fare well, Karun had a reasonably good season, with the right-handed batsman notching up three half-centuries and crossing the 350-run mark. He even captained DD for a few games in Zaheer Khan’s absence during the tenth edition of the IPL, but he had an ordinary outing with the bat. Kings XI Punjab snapped him up at the 2018 auctions and the Karnataka batter scored more than 300 runs in the season.