Dropped without getting a game in England, Karun Nair’s exclusion from the home Tests against West Indies has baffled quite a few but chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said on Monday that the Karnataka batsman has been given an explanation.
“I personally spoke to Karun soon after the selection of the Test Team against the West Indies and also told the ways to make a comeback. The selection committee is very very clear with regard to the communication process,” Prasad told PTI on Monday.
India’s second ever triple centurion in Tests, Nair was picked in the original squad for the England series as the additional batsman in the squad. But when the management finally decided to play an extra batsman in the eleven in the fifth Test, it was Hanuma Vihari, who got the nod. Vihari, who played and impressed everyone with a gutsy half-century and handy off-breaks, had been added to the squad only after the third Test.
It is widely believed that the Indian team management were not happy with Nair’s inclusion in the Test set-up, in the first place. Dilip Vengsarkar has said the entire case is ‘quite intriguing’ while former captain Sunil Gavaskar was one of the first to slam the management for the decision. Speaking after the decision was announced at the toss at The Oval, Gavaskar had said that was no argument that was going to satisfy him, before elaborating:
“What has Karun Nair done not to get in? I know he has not been your favourite player. You don’t want to pick him. He scores a triple hundred. You leave him out. He fails in a couple of games. You leave him out. You have brought him back in the team. It could be the selectors who have brought him back. The team management probably doesn’t want him. And that’s why they haven’t given him the opportunity to play in this game.
All the best to Hanuma Vihari. I really wish him well. Karun Nair has every right to ask the team management what he has done wrong. He deserves an answer. ‘Why am I not picked?’ If you are going to pick an extra batsman, which they should have done from the first Test itself, and if you haven’t given him the opportunity, he deserves an answer.”— Sunil Gavaskar ahead of the fifth Test against England
In a recent interview with Cricbuzz, before the West Indies Test squad was announced, he went on record stating that neither the team management nor the selectors have communicated with him.
However, Prasad reiterated to PTI that he has indeed been intimated as to why a certain decision was taken.
“Communication has always been the strong point of this committee. It’s really tough to inform any unpleasant news to any player. You need to have valid reasons to explain them about their exclusion though they may not agree with it,” the former India wicket-keeper said.
“Having said that we are very clear and candid in our communication process . My colleague Devang Gandhi spoke to Karun Nair at length in England to keep him motivated and wait for his opportunities,” Prasad said.
Asked what is the way forward for Nair, Prasad said: “He will have to keep on piling runs in Ranji Trophy and whatever India A series is there.”
“Karun is very much in the scheme of things for Test cricket. Right now, we have advised him to focus on performing in domestic and India A matches.