99, 166* and 77* – Karun Nair’s last three innings for India Red give a massive indication as to how he wants to regain his place in the Indian Test team. At Alur, a few miles away from Bangalore, Nair once again displayed tremendous temperament to reaffirm his consistency in domestic cricket as he continues to lead India Red’s response after restricting India Green to 440 in their first innings.
The overnight batsmen for India Green – Priyam Garg and Akshay Wadkar – failed to kick on after promising starts and a wicket (Priyam Garg) after the first hour of play opened doors for India Red to restrict their opponents below 450. From 354/4, India Green slipped to 440 all-out inside the first session, losing their last six for 86 runs. Vidarbha’s Akshay Wakhare continued his wicket-taking form from yesterday and recorded his 18th fifer in first-class cricket.
India Red started cautiously and a possible injury to Bengal’s Abhimanyu Easwaran forced him to retire hurt, enabling an opportunity for the in-form Nair who built a solid 75-run stand with Priyank Panchal for the opening wicket. Although India Red lost Panchal and Ankit Kalsi in quick succession, Nair seemed unperturbed by the circumstances and played his natural game to amass an undefeated 106-ball 77 that included 14 fours. Saurashtra’s Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the only wicket-taker for India Green as their pacers struggled for consistency with their lead bowler – Ankit Rajpoot – conceding in excess of 4 per over.
Brief scores: India Red 140-2 (Karun Nair 77;Dharmendrasinh Jadeja 2-36) trail India Green 440 all-out (Akshath Reddy 146, Siddesh Lad 64; Akshay Wakhare 5-103) by 300 runs.
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