India will be hosting Afghanistan in the historic one-off Test at Bengaluru beginning June 14. Afghanistan have named a spin-heavy squad for their international Test debut but Indian batsmen are confident that they can counter whatever comes their way. Karun Nair, who had scored a triple century on his debut, has been going through a rough patch ever since. However, ahead of the Test, Nair, who played his last Test in March 2017, has said that he is a much fitter player now and has worked hard to improve his batting skills.
"I have become fitter. For one-and-a-half years I have been out of the team and making efforts to improve my skills," Nair said.
"I have worked on batting and fitness. I scored runs in domestic cricket. I know for myself, I am a better batsman than what I was two years ago," he added.
The 26-year-old conceded that it didn't feel good to be dropped after scoring a triple ton but he has moved on.
"It has been two years. Unless you guys bring this up, I am not thinking of it. Obviously, it is a good feeling that you are the second person to get it (triple ton), but it is time we all moved on and looked ahead," he said.
For the one-off Test, the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) announced a spin-heavy squad but Nair is unperturbed with their strategy.
The squad comprises five spinners in Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Zahir Khan and left-arm spinner Hamza Kotak, who incidentally emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded first-class competition.
"I have played Rashid in the IPL, but this is a different ball game. This is Test cricket. I don't think he has played many red ball games. So, it will be new for everyone," he said.
Rashid and Mujeeb enjoyed fruitful campaigns in the IPL, playing for SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) respectively.
(With IANS inputs)