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'Keep piling on runs in Ranji Trophy and A series,' chief selector tells Nair

Karun Nair's innings was the highest maiden century for India Associated Press

After controversially dropping Karun Nair from the Test squad, even though he didn't get a chance to fail or succeed for six straight Tests, India's chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has given the batsman an advice: "keep on piling runs" in the domestic circuit and for India A.

Prasad also clarified that he had personally spoken to Nair after leaving him out of the 15-man squad for the West Indies series at home. Nair's omission created a stir because he was given no opportunity to prove himself on the preceding England tour and the lone Test against Afghanistan at home.

"I personally spoke to Karun soon after the selection of the Test team against the West Indies and also told the ways to make a comeback. The selection committee is very, very clear with regard to the communication process," Prasad told PTI. "He will have to keep on piling runs in Ranji Trophy and whatever India A series is there. Karun is very much in the scheme of things for Test cricket. Right now, we have advised him to focus on performing in domestic and India A matches."

Prasad further stated that Nair had been spoken to in England too, where the batsman sat on the bench for the entirety of the tour, despite being named in the squad for all five Tests. That included the much talked-about inclusion of a debuting Hanuma Vihari, who edged out Nair to replace the injured Hardik Pandya for the fifth Test at The Oval.

"Communication has always been the strong point of this committee," Prasad said. "It's really tough to inform any unpleasant news to any player. You need to have valid reasons to explain them about their exclusion though they may not agree with it.

"Having said that, we are very clear and candid in our communication process. My colleague Devang Gandhi spoke to Karun Nair at length in England to keep him motivated and wait for his opportunities."

These statements are in direct contradiction to Nair's. Shortly before the squad for West Indies series was announced, Nair had stated that he had received no communication about why he didn't get a chance in England even though he was picked in the squad before Vihari.

"We [Nair, the selectors and the team management] haven't had any conversations. Nothing at all," he had said. "It is difficult, but I haven't gone forth and asked anything, but yeah, we haven't had any conversation."