Karnataka didn’t perform quite well in the 2017-18 domestic season. It wasn’t the most ideal season for one of the significant sides in India.

However, what the season did was to throw up quite a few quality players for Karnataka who were up for grabs in the IPL Auctions in January this year. Among the eight franchises, it was Kings XI Punjab who secured the services of the Karnataka trio, Karun Nair, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

It enabled Punjab to have a formidable middle order depth. It has also lent the much-needed stability. While speaking to the Indian Express, Karun Nair, the 2nd triple centurion in Tests among Indians revealed he had never imagined the trio would be playing in the same IPL franchise. He further stated how playing together has benefitted them on the field.

“It’s a huge thing for three of us to play together because all three of us started playing junior cricket together. So it’s a nice feeling to come back together for Kings XI. Probably never in my wildest dream did I think that we would play together in the same IPL team. 

But once we got selected and the amount of faith shown by the franchise, it has motivated us to do well for the team,” Nair said.

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KL Rahul Rohit Sharma
KL Rahul should be opening for India instead of Rohit Sharma, feels fans. Image Courtesy: BCCI

He added playing together for the team is of utmost importance to the young man. He said while playing as a group one needs to do well as a team.

“When you are in a team you obviously play as a group to do well for the team. You are always thinking about the situation of the team, and that is what occupies the mind. But it is obviously helpful that the three of us know each other for a long time. We can help each other out in the middle as we know our strengths and weaknesses,” Nair added.

Karun Nair further revealed he is also enjoying his time with the only other Indian Test triple-centurion and current head coach of Punjab, Virender Sehwag.

“To share the dressing room with a legend like Sehwag is a great feeling. He gives us so much freedom and as a person, he is just like his batting- aggressive with a lot of freedom. I had quite a few interactions with him where he has told me to pick the right situation and to do the right things. So looking forward to implementing them and perform well for the team,” Nair said.

Karun Nair opened the innings for Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2018. It was a T20 tournament, and he finished as the 3rd highest run-getter. He scored 379 runs in nine innings with an impressive average of 42.11 and an exceptional strike rate of 173.85. He smashed a couple of centuries in the tournament.

One of the century against Jharkhand came in just 52 deliveries. However, Nair revealed he doesn’t see himself as an opening batsman.

“Honestly I don’t see myself as an opener. In first-class cricket and in Test matches, I have batted in the middle order. It is only in T20s that I have opened,” he signed off by saying.

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Mayank
Mayank Agarwal. Photo by: Ron Gaunt /SPORTZPICS for BCCI