Murali Kartik Biography
Murali Kartik is a classic left-arm spinner in the Indian cricket team known for his fiery attitude and quite a few memorable match-winning performances. Born on the 11th of September 1976 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, he has represented India in the international cricketing arena off and on after making his test debut in 2000.
In his early years, Kartik was a medium pacer before taking up his trademark left-arm spinner action. Murali Kartik first made his mark in the first-class cricketing arena with his hat-trick effort against Vidarbha in the 1996-97 season of Ranji Trophy ending up with the magic figures of 10/55. Despite finishing the season with 16 wickets at an average of 19.37 he could not secure a place in the Central Zone team for the upcoming Duleep Trophy. In the 1997-98 season, he fetched 14 wickets at an average of 18.42 but was made to sit out in the latter stages of Ranji Trophy. Kartik came up with strong performance in the 1998-99 season and was instrumental in the victory of Central Zone against West Zone in Aurangabad to claim Duleep Trophy. He claimed 7 wickets for 95 runs in the match and went ahead to become the leading wicket taker of the tournament.
After making his presence felt at the Ranji Trophy level, Murali Kartik made his Test debut against South Africa in February 2000 after Harbhajan Singh was left out of contention as a second spin option to Anil Kumble. Kartik claimed 6 wickets at an average of 33.5 runs in the test matches. In the next season, he played one test match each against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe with relatively unimpressive figures, which put him out of favor with the selectors. His lackluster performance at the Ranji level further added to his woes and he was left out in favor of Harbhajan Singh for the 2001 Border Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia. After a memorable performance by Harbhajan in the series, Kartik was relegated to the place of a third spin choice for Indian cricket team.
Murali Kartik also made his ODI debut in a home series against Zimbabwe in 2002. He came up with some memorable performances against West Indies in the ODI format in the 2002-03 season. Though included in the Test squad for a New Zealand tour in 2002 in the absence of Kumble he did not get the opportunity to play being a second spin choice after Harbhajan Singh. Then it was in 2004 that he came up with a remarkable performance for India A team against Sri Lanka A and was called in the midst of 2003-04 Australian tour due to Harbhajan’s injury but failed miserably to deliver the goods with a dismal figure of 1/211.
Hitting a lean patch, Kartik also missed the 2003 Cricket World Cup in favor of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Later, he played for India occasionally in 2004 but Greg Chappell provided him a much-needed breather by including him in favor of Anil Kumble as a part of his experimental approach. He also did not disappoint Chappell by taking 8 wickets at an average of 30 in Sri Lanka series but soon he ran out of luck and could not claim a single wicket against South Africa. Making matters worse, his lean patch against Pakistan put him out of favor with the selectors once again making way for youngster like Piyush Chawla and Ramesh Powar.
Murali Kartik started playing for Lancashire in county cricket and claimed 10 wickets for 168 runs against Sussex in his late 2005 debut. Later, he also played for Lancashire in the C&G Trophy final against Sussex in late 2006. After making his remarkable debut as the 700th first-class player for Middlesex in April 2007, the lady luck smiled on him once again as he was called back in the Indian ODI squad against Australia. His selection came in favor of Ramesh Powar and he did not fail to seize the opportunity.
In the 7th ODI against Australia played in Mumbai on October 17, 2007, Murali Kartik created history with his career best figures of 6/27 helping bundle out Australians for 193 in 41.3 overs. Later, after a horrible start of the Indian innings, he contributed a match-winning 21 runs with the bat while building a record-breaking 9th wicket partnership of 52 runs with Zaheer Khan, which helped India secure a miraculous victory against Australians.
No doubt, Murali Kartik represents a precious hidden talent of India cricket, which needs to be better explored to help India bask in the glory of cricketing success time and again.