December 19, 2016 / 1:25 PM / 9 months ago

Survivor Nair rides luck again in epic innings

Cricket - India v England - Fifth Test cricket match - MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, India - 19/12/16 - India's Karun Nair celebrates his triple century. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

CHENNAI (Reuters) - India batsman Karun Nair reflected on his brush with death this year after scoring a brilliant triple century against England in the fifth test on Monday.

The 25-year-old was among the hundred-plus passengers on a boat which capsized in his home state of Kerala in July, killing six people.

“I didn’t know how to swim. People there rescued me and I was just lucky enough to live again,” Nair said after scoring 303 not out at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Fortune played a crucial part in his marathon 381-ball knock against England in only his third test.

Nair was dropped on 34 by Alastair Cook at slip and by Joe Root on 217, and he survived a stumping opportunity off Moeen Ali.

Cricket - India v England - Fifth Test cricket match - MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, India - 19/12/16 - India's Karun Nair plays a shot. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Nair just carried on, however, compiling his maiden test century before lunch and converting it into a double before counter-attacking in the final session to become the second Indian, after Virender Sehwag, to make a test triple century.

“After the first hundred, pressure was off. The first hundred is always important and I think when I got the first hundred, I was just playing my shots after that,” he said.

India posted their highest ever test total of 759-7 before declaring, a decision which was delayed to allow Nair complete his triple century.

“The message was to just go after the bowling. We had a set over in mind (for the declaration). When I got closer to 300, they pushed it back. I’d like to thank the team management for giving me the extra time.”

Apart from displaying an impeccable temperament, Nair also exhibited his prowess at sweeping, both conventional and reverse, against England’s three-pronged spin attack.

“Sweep comes naturally to me, I’ve worked on it a lot, it’s my go-to shot and it just came off today,” he said.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond

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