Murali Kartik

Murali Kartik
Murali kartik bowling.jpg
Kartik bowling for Somerset in 2010.
Personal information
Born (1976-09-11) 11 September 1976 (age 43)
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
BowlingSlow left arm orthodox
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 226)24 February 2000 v South Africa
Last Test20 November 2004 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 144)16 March 2002 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI18 November 2007 v Pakistan
Only T20I (cap 19)20 October 2007 v Australia
Domestic team information
2008–2010Kolkata Knight Riders
2011–2012Pune Warriors India
2013Royal Challengers Bangalore (squad no. 222)
2014Kings XI Punjab
Career statistics
Runs scored881264,423773
Batting average9.7714.0020.1911.89
Top score4332*9644
Balls bowled1,9321,90742,5479,619
Bowling average34.1643.5626.7028.29
5 wickets in innings01362
10 wickets in match0n/a5n/a
Best bowling4/446/279/706/27
Source: CricketArchive, 14 June 2014

Murali Kartik (Tamil: முரளி கார்த்திக், About this soundpronunciation , born 11 September 1976) is an Indian former cricketer who sporadically represented the national team from 2000 to 2007. He was a specialist slow left arm orthodox bowler known for his loopy trajectory and ability to spin and bounce, but has found international selection blocked during his prime years by the presence of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.[1] He is also a left-handed batsman, and although he has had some success with the bat at first-class level with 19 half-centuries, he has not been able to repeat this at international level.[1]

After starting out in the Delhi junior system, Kartik moved through the age group ranks at Railways, was selected for the Indian Under-19 team. He made his first-class debut in 1996–97 and after a few productive seasons at domestic level, made his Test debut in early-2000 as Kumble's bowling partner. However, he ran into disciplinary problems and was expelled from the National Cricket Academy in the same year, while new national captain Sourav Ganguly was reluctant to entrust him with responsibility. Ganguly called for off spinner Harbhajan to be recalled in 2001, and was rewarded with a series-winning performance against Australia. This entrenched the off spinner in the team and left Kartik on the outer.

For the next four years, Kartik was on the fringes of selection. He made his ODI debut in 2002 and had a short stint before being dropped and missing the 2003 Cricket World Cup because of mediocre performance. He was recalled in late-2003 for limited overs matches and played in around half of India's matches for a six-month period, as well as one Test after Harbhajan suffered a serious injury. In late-2004 Kartik played in three Tests as India fielded three spinners, and claimed his only man-of-the-match award in Tests against Australia in Mumbai, but was again dropped two matches later. In late 2005, Kartik became a regular member of the ODI team for a few months when the International Cricket Council introduced an experimental rule that allowed one substitute to be used, opening an extra vacancy in the national team. However, Kartik was unable to secure his position in the team and the rule was later revoked. In late 2007, Kartik broke back into the ODI team and took 6/27 in one victory over Australia, but lost form soon after and was again dropped. He has not represented India since then. Aside from domestic cricket, Kartik plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League and has been in demand in English county cricket as an overseas player, representing Lancashire, Middlesex, Somerset and Surrey.

Early years

Born on 11 September 1976 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,[1] Murali Kartik wanted to be a genetic engineer. He was a medium pacer in his early years,[2] before switching to a left arm finger spinner in the classical mould, Kartik grew up trying to emulate past Indian orthodox spinners Bishen Singh Bedi, Maninder Singh and Venkatapathy Raju. He also garnered attention for what was perceived to be a fiery attitude, but took pride in coach Kapil Dev saying of him "I have never seen a player with such an attitude towards the game in my 20 years of international cricket".[3]

Kartik started out in the junior system at Delhi. He broke into their Under-16 team in December 1992, and took a match total of 10/74 on debut against Himachal Pradesh, as well as scoring 52 not out in an innings victory. He took 2/91 in the next match against Haryana, but could no longer play in the Under-16s because of his advancing age.[4] He could not break into the Under-19s at Delhi, and played no further youth domestic matches for two years, when he transferred to Railways and broke into their Under-19 team.[4]

In five matches for his new team during the 1994–95, he took 24 wickets at 14.58 including a haul of 5/28 against Vidarbha. He was rewarded with selection in the Under-19 Central Zone team for the zonal one-day tournament, taking five wickets at 25.00 in four matches. He had little success with the bat, scoring 47 on one occasion during the season, but otherwise only aggregating nine runs in six innings.[4]

The following season in 1995–96, Kartik had a more successful season for Railways Under-19s. He started with 5/73 and 5/55 against Madhya Pradesh and made it three five-wicket hauls in a row with 5/42 against Vidarbha. He took another five-wicket haul later in the season against Rajasthan and ended the competition with 38 wickets at 18.94 in seven matches. Railways made the final, where they faced Punjab. Kartik was Railways' most effective bowler, taking 4/57 in Punjab's first innings of 310. He then made 14 not out as Railways ceded a first innings lead, which was enough to give Punjab the title as the match ended in a draw. Kartik took 3/138 in the second innings. After the final, newly crowned champions took on the Rest of India, and Kartik took 2/25 and 4/89 to help his team to a six-wicket victory. Kartik had a less successful time in the zonal one-dayers for Central, taking only one wicket in three matches. He also improved his batting marginally, scoring 57 and three other double-digit scores.[4]

As a result of his performances during the season, Kartik was called up to the Indian Under-19 team for an international series against their counterparts from South Africa. In the youth Test, he took 4/40 as India dismissed South Africa for 159 to take a 19-run lead. In the second innings, he took 3/30 as South Africa fell for 107 in pursuit of 277. In two youth one-day internationals that followed, Kartik was prominent in the Indian victories, taking 3/23 and 3/33 respectively.[4]