Triple centurion Nair: First hundred lifted the pressure


Karun Nair says recording his maiden Test century lifted the pressure on him during his incredible triple hundred for India against England on day four of the fifth Test.

Nair started the day on 71 not out with India 391-4 in response to England's first-innings 477 and, a day after KL Rahul had lost his wicket one run shy of 200, powered India to a highest ever Test score of 759-7 declared with a devastating batting performance.

Playing in only his third Test, Nair struck 32 boundaries and four maximums en route to an unbeaten 303, showing startling proficiency with the sweep shot in a marvellous 381-ball exhibition.

Nair took India beyond their previous five-day best of 726 - set against Sri Lanka in 2009 - when he lashed Adil Rashid through the covers for four.

And he found the rope again with a cut shot from the same bowler to bring up his 300, becoming only the second India batsman to achieve the feat, following in the footsteps of Virender Sehwag.

Speaking afterwards, Nair said: "It's the best knock I've played in my life. [There were] many situations in the middle when I had to play differently, with Rahul, [Ravichandran] Ashwin and Jaddu [Ravindra Jadeja].

"I have to thank them for supporting me, egging me on. The first hundred is always important and I think when I got the first hundred, I didn't feel any pressure. I was just playing my shots after that.

"I think the sweep comes naturally to me, I've worked on it a lot. It's been my go-to shot when I needed a four. It just came off today [Monday].

"The message was to attack in the third session. We had set overs to declare on, but when I got closer to 300, they pushed it back.

"I just went for the fours and the boundaries. I'd like to thank the team management for giving me the extra overs to get to the 300."

Asked about his family watching in the stands in Chennai, Nair smiled: "My dad watches most of my games, [there's] no extra pressure on me. I'd like to thank them for coming over. I think they should be proud of me now."

Captain Virat Kohli immediately called for the declaration after Nair reached his milestone and England survived five overs to reach 12-0 at the close.