India declared their first innings at 759 for seven on the fourth day of the fifth and final cricket Test against England in Chennai.
The declaration came soon after Karun Nair scored a magnificent triple century. He remained unbeaten at 303. Earlier KL Rahul had missed out on his double century by just one run.
Virendra Sehwag, who was the only Indian cricketer to have scored triple ton before, tweeted congratulating Karun.
He wroted, “Yay ! Welcome to the 300 club @karun126 . It was very lonely here for the last 12 years 8 months.
Wish you the very best Karun.Maza aa gaya!”
Yay ! Welcome to the 300 club @karun126 .
It was very lonely here for the last 12 years 8 months.
Wish you the very best Karun.Maza aa gaya!
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 19, 2016
Nair’s father, Kaladharan Nair said, “We really feel proud of our son. In the morning we didn’t think he will achieve that. From childhood he has struggled, now he has achieved it.”
His mother told ANI, “Very proud, feeling like I am in heaven.”
Karun later told reporters that it was only after he completed his century that he started playing his shots naturally as there was no pressure.
He said, “After getting the hundred, pressure was off so I just played my shots normally.”
“Everyone is being very nice to me. They have congratulated me. I think it will take a couple of days for myself to sink in. The dressing room atmosphere has always been really good and they have always backed me in whatever I have done,” Karun said at the day end press conference.
Asked as to when he thought about getting to a triple century, Karun said it was only after he reached 280 that his partner Ravindra Jadeja started egging him on to reach the milestone.
“I think it never took place in my mind. Once after I crossed 250, the team management had certain plans of going after the bowling and declaring. So I think within the space of five overs, I got to 280-285, that is when I started thinking and Jaddu kept egging me on to not throw it away and get to 300 easily.”
The 25-year-old said that there were nerves during each of the milestones on 99, 199 and 299.
“Obviously, there are some nerves. You can’t be thinking negative at that point. You just have to watch the ball and just get over that moment. You just have to feel that moment, being there.”
Karun said that he is currently overwhelmed by emotions which he is not being able to express.
“There are a lot of things that is going in my mind that I want to do but at that moment, it just doesn’t come out. I think I will just have to get more hundreds for me to show emotion.”
Karun said that he feels sorry that his close buddy KL Rahul got out on 199.
“Like he (Rahul) said we started playing cricket together. It’s just that we have been together since then. At every stage, if he has gone ahead I have caught up. Or if I have gone ahead, he has caught up. So I think that healthy rivalry is good. I feel bad for him that he did not get the double hundred but I think he will get one very soon.”
Crossing the century mark certainly took away a lot of pressure off him, he feels.
“I think it’s just playing normally. I think after 100 the pressure is off. You just go out there and play the shots that you can and you just look to hit the gaps. Once you cross 150, it is just playing freely like how you always do and just expressing yourself.”
England 1st Innings: 477
India 1st Innings: 759/7 in 190.4 overs (Karun Nair 303 not out, KL Rahul 199; Stuart Broad 2/80).