Nair, who was part of the original squad named for the five-Test series in England but wasn’t given a go in any of the matches, has now been left out of the 15-man squad to take on West Indies. Vihari, who made a battling half-century on debut, has been preferred for the middle order spot.
“It is difficult, naturally for a human being, it's difficult to handle that situation (being overlooked for someone who comes into the squad from the outside), or to take that as a human being,” Nair told Cricbuzz before the squad for the series was announced. “But the team management and everyone else involved make a decision, and me as a player has to accept it. There's nothing else I can do.”
Nair is of course only the second Indian to score a triple ton in Test cricket after Virender Sehwag. However, since he went past the landmark against England in Chennai in 2016, Nair has played just three more Tests, the last of those came more than a year ago against Australia at Dharamsala. The 26-year old says that he would have hoped for more opportunities after his feat.
“I took time to understand the feat I had achieved, that was the meaning of what I was trying to put across; it wasn't that it put me under pressure or anything, the only thing that bottled up for me was not getting picked after that,” he said. “I haven't got the kind of opportunities I should have got after that. That's the only thing that's bottled up.
“I played four innings probably in the Australia series, and I think any batsman could get a start and get out in two innings and could have two failures. But to be out of the team after that and not get a chance after that is just unfortunate.
“Whenever I get back into the eleven, I need to make sure those starts are converted. I cannot look at it in a negative way at all because that's not going to help me at all. All I can say is everyone gets starts and gets out at some point in their careers. For me, it's happened at that time and after that I haven't got opportunities.”
As to when that opportunity might come his way, Nair said he hasn’t had any conversations about it with team management, admitting that going back to the domestic level and only being part of nets sessions with the national team, takes “double the effort” after having had a taste of international cricket.
“It (not knowing why I am not being picked) is difficult, but I haven't gone forth and asked anything, but yeah, we haven't had any conversation,” he said. “You work so hard to get to that (international) stage, and I don't think anyone would want to leave that stage and come back again to a level below.
“Everyone who gets to the international stage, works so hard, gets so many runs at the domestic level, at the India A level, otherwise we can't reach the top. To think about going back again and coming in is hard, it's never easy to go back and come back again. It takes double the effort.
“If there's an opportunity where you can go and play matches, it's obviously a good thing, you can keep scoring runs and be in touch. To play matches is better to be in touch than playing at the nets.”
First Published: September 30, 2018, 11:04 AM IST