'For one-and-a-half years I have been out of the team and making efforts to improve my skills,' Nair told reporters in Bengaluru.

After a years absence from tests Karun Nair hopes to come good against AfghanistanFacebook/Karun Nair
Sports Cricket Monday, June 11, 2018 - 19:34

A triple century on debut and an inconsistent run thereafter haven't helped Karun Nair cement his place in the Indian Test team but the Karnataka batsman on Monday claimed to have worked on his fitness and skills as he prepares for the one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting here on Thursday.

Nair, who played the final Test against Australia in March last year, said he has worked on his batting and is a better batsman than he was a couple of years ago.

"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 told reporters here. 

"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 and Kings XI Punjab, respectively.

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