Mumbai, Jan 19: Young Karnataka batsman Karun Nair, who stole a big march by scoring a triple hundred in only his third Test against England in Chennai, said on Thursday that things are the same with him except that he gets recognised on the streets after his stupendous feat.
Ind-Eng series schedule; Photos
"Nothing has changed for me personally. I am still the same. It is just that I get more recognition in the streets," said the 25-year-old Jodhpur-born batsman today (Jan 19) ahead of playing for Rest of India under Cheteshwar Pujara against newly crowned Ranji Trophy champions Gujarat in the Irani Cup game here from on Friday.
"I am more focused on what I have to do. I am working hard to do better. This is beginning of my career. (Am) waiting for opportunities to do better," said Nair who made an unbeaten 303 in only his third Test innings in the fifth and final Test against England after making his debut in the third game of the series in Mohali.
Nair, who has become only the second Indian player after swashbuckling batsman Virender Sehwag to score a triple ton in Tests, said although he has been part of the dressing room for nearly a year he has now started to believe he belongs to it on his own.
"I have been part of that dressing room for almost of a year and most of us play together in the IPL. So, it is not something new. When you get to the Indian team, it is a different ballgame altogether. I was really happy to do well in my third Test match.
"I have played a whole series (was in reserves in the first two Tests against England) and I kind of feel that I am more than in the team on my own. It is just the beginning and I am looking forward to the future."
Saying his confidence has gone up after the great knock for a winning cause in Chennai, Nair explained he never even thought about the subsequent ODI series against England, in progress, for which he was not picked.
"Obviously, confidence increases when you score runs at the international level. You have more belief that you can do more at that level.
"I was not expecting anything. It is the selectors' call. All I can do is to keep scoring runs. It is up to them to pick me or not. I am really not thinking of those things. I don't have any expectations. It is the beginning of my career and I am working hard and waiting for the opportunities."
Conceding there would be pressure of expectations now from the public, Nair said he was more eager to live up to his own expectations.
"That is going to be there. I have my own expectations and like to stick with them and not worry about expectation of others. That way, I don't really think about the outside part.
"I have been working hard. It is all about getting the opportunity and using that opportunity to the maximum and doing well for the country and making the team win."
"I was just hoping to get some runs. The team was under pressure in that situation when we lost (team captain) Virat (Kohli). That motivated me to do better," said Nair about his grand innings.
"Everyone was really happy that I could do really well and they were just congratulating me and told me to keep going," he remarked.
Asked about his muted celebration after reaching a rare landmark, he said that was the way he was always.
"It is just the way I am. I don't want to change. I don't want to be someone that I am not. Whatever happens on the field is just how I am always."
"There were not any special kind of celebrations. Just normal," he replied when asked whether there were any celebrations back home.