Indian youngster Karun Nair on Monday became only the second Indian batsman to score a triple century after Virender Sehwag when he crossed the magic number against England on the fourth day of the fifth test at Chennai.
The hosts declared their first innings at 759-7 as soon as Nair touched the feat with a four. At stumps, England had reached 12-0, trailing India by 270 runs and facing an all-day battle on Tuesday to salvage a draw.
The young Karnataka batsman achieved the feat (303 not out) only in his third match. Before this match, he had 17 runs under his belt in two innings.
Sehwag, known for his witty oneliners on Twitter, wished the young bastman in his own style.
Yay ! Welcome to the 300 club @karun126 .— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) December 19, 2016
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!,” Sehwag tweeted minutes after Nair finished his 300.
Nair, hit 32 boundaries and four sixes. He took only 381 balls to score 303 runs at
In his unbeaten innings,Nair faced 381 balls and batted for 566 minutes in all with the strike rate of 79.52. He hit 32 fours as well as four sixes in his marathon innings.
He followed in the footsteps of Virender Sehwag, who scored 319 runs against South Africa in 2008 at the same ground, as well as 309 runs against Pakistan in Multan (2004).
"The 300 was never in my head. 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's when I started thinking about it," Nair said after an exhausting day's play.
The young batsman had made his debut in Mohali, and played in Mumbai as well, but in two innings there, he had scored 4 and 13 runs.
"There was no extra pressure, but there is always pressure in every game. I got run out in the first game and didn't get many runs in the second game. So I wouldn't say that I was feeling any pressure," he added.
It was also the highest score for an Indian batsman who scored his maiden test hundred. Nair went past Vinod Kambli's 224 runs against England in Mumbai (1993).
This was India's highest-ever test score, beating their previous best of 726-9d against Sri Lanka in 2009.
"They say make hay when the sun shines. I wasn't thinking much about it. We are 3-0 up, so I think they are already out of the game. I'm just happy that I got the runs. I got in and made the most of it," Nair said.
He admitted that it will take some time to sink in.
"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."