|Batting style||Left hand bat|
|Bowling style||Slow left arm orthodox|
|5 wickets in innings||-||1|
|10 wickets in match||-||n/a|
As of 18 October, 2007
Murali Kartik (born September 11, 1976 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India), an Indian cricketer who occasionally represented the Indian cricket team from 2000 to 2007. A specialist slow left arm orthodox bowler, he has earned fame for his loopy trajectory and ability to spin and bounce, but has found international selection blocked by the presence of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. A left-handed batsman, he has had some success with the bat at first-class level with eleven half-centuries, he has yet to repeat that at international level.
Cricket has a history of over 200 years in India, becoming the unofficial national sport. Since independence in 1947, and the partition of Pakistan from India, the sport has become an important source of national pride. India and Pakistan have an especially intense rivalry, especially in light of the several wars they have fought with each other since 1947. Marali Kartik stands among the best of India's cricket players, achieving international fame for his performance in international matches as both a bowler and a batsman.
In his early years in cricket, Kartik played as a medium pacer, 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 a fiery attitude, but took pride in Kapil Dev saying "I have never seen a player with such an attitude towards the game in my twenty years of international cricket." Kartik made his first class debut for Railways in the Ranji Trophy in 1996/1997, against Vidarbha, and marked his debut with a hat trick in the first innings, finishing with 10/55. He ended the season with 16 wickets at 19.37, and 185 runs at 20 including a 74, but failed to win the Central Zone selection for the Duleep Trophy. The following season he managed 14 wickets at 18.42, but got dropped in the later stages of the tournament. He played more regularly in 1998/1999, taking 29 wickets in seven matches at 19.3 placing the thirteenth highest wicket-taker. He won selection for Central Zone and claimed 7/95 in the final to help them defeat West Zone in Aurangabad to claim the Duleep Trophy, and came in the leading wicket-taker during the tournament.
After further strong Ranji performances in the 1999/2000 season, taking 17 wickets at 10.11 including a haul of 12/93 against Vidharbha, Kartik made his debut in February 2000, playing in both Tests against South Africa at Mumbai and Bangalore as India sought a second spinner to accompany Anil Kumble, after Harbhajan Singh's performance in the role in the previous season had been deemed inadequate. Kartik performed steadily, taking six wickets at 33.5.
Kartik won selection in 2000 for the first intake of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, after earlier having made his Test debut in early 2000 in a home series against South Africa. His stay proved short along with that of Harbhajan Singh, when the director Hanumant Singh expelled them over disciplinary issues.
In the 2000/2001 season, he played in one Test against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe respectively in India, taking 1/42 and 2/66. Captain Sourav Ganguly showed little confidence in him, only affording him frequent but short spells. Kartik compounded his problems by taking his Duleep Trophy wickets at an average of 131, taking only three wickets in three matches. The selectors felt unsatisfied by those performances, and despite a shoulder injury to Kumble, they discarded Kartik as India hosted Australia in the 2001 Border Gavaskar Trophy. Harbhajan recalled, he took 32 wickets at 17 to permanently establish himself as India's favored spinner.
A serious back injury in 2001 forced Kartik to travel to Adelaide for treatment, funded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He managed to make a successful comeback in the 2001/2002 Duleep Trophy, being the fourth highest wicket taker, with 34 at an average of 17.
Since then, Kartik has been India's third choice Test spinner behind Kumble and Harbhajan, only playing due to their injuries or when India selected three spinners. Kartik received a call into the Test squad to tour New Zealand in late 2002 after Kumble withdrew, but miss a chance to play as India only fielded one spin bowler. As a result, Kartik sat out Test matches until early 2004, almost three years later. After taking 6/117 and 5/140 for India A against Sri Lanka A, Kartik made his first overseas appearance for India, after replacing the injured Harbhajan midway through the 2003/2004 tour of Australia. He played in the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground when India fielded two spinners. The Australian batsmen punished him, taking 1/211.
Kartik had opportunities in the ODI format in the intervening period, playing in four consecutive matches in 2002/2003 in India against the West Indies, but after taking four wickets at 49.75, he got overlooked for the 2003 Cricket World Cup as Harbhajan and Kumble took the nod. After the World Cup, Kartik gained semi-regular appearances during the TVS and on the Australian tour, competing with Kumble for a regular position in the team. Despite only taking 1/178 in the VB series, he continued for the ODI tour of Pakistan, taking five wickets at 32.8. Harbhajan's return from injury in late 2004 meant that he would only play two ODIs until late 2005.
Kartik played his next Test October 2004, in the Third Test against Australia in Nagpur, when Harbhajan fell ill, taking 5/131. He held his place for final Test in Mumbai as India fielded three spinners, and took 7/76 in a man of the match performance which saw India win by 13 runs. Both of those performances occurred under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid with Ganguly injured, in which Kartik netted his wickets at an average of 17.5 compared to 51.08 under Ganguly's leadership. Kartik played the last of his eight Tests in a subsequent match against South Africa in Kanpur, taking 2/93 under Ganguly's command, being dropped after India used two spinners in subsequent matches.
He enjoyed more opportunities in the ODI arena in 2005, when the newly appointed coach Greg Chappell dropped Kumble due to his lack of athleticism, as well as the introduction of the experimental rules which allowed the use of substitutes, thus opening an extra position in the team. Kartik played in ten of the twelve ODIs which India hosted during the summer, he took eight wickets at 30 in the series against Sri Lanka, but went wicketless in the South African series. After conceding 64 runs against Pakistan, 17-year-old legspinner Piyush Chawla and off-spinner Ramesh Powar respectively replaced him in early 2006 in the Test and ODI squad.
In late 2005, he appeared as a late-season overseas player substitute for Lancashire, and became the first overseas Lancashire player to take ten wickets on debut against Essex with 10/168. His 16 wickets placed him second on the season's bowling averages, and helped the team to receive a promotion from Second Division. He initially received no contract offer for 2006. In August 2006 he again signed as a late-season overseas player for Lancashire just in time to appear in the C&G Trophy final against Sussex.
He has joined Middlesex as an overseas registration for the 2007 season. He made his debut as the county club's 700th first-class cricketer against Somerset at Taunton in April 2007. He received a call to the Indian ODI team for the late 2007 series against Australia, after the team dropped Powar. He took 1/48 and conceded only two runs in the 48th over as Australia stumbled in a tight run chase. His captain MS Dhoni cited that as one of the key points in the match.
On October 17, 2007 he took 6-27 from 10 overs in the 7th ODI between India and Australia and chipped in with 21 not out (34 balls) to win the game for India and the selection as the Man of the Match.
All links retrieved October 31, 2018.
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