Murali Kartik Biography
Murali Kartik’s case has been that of the perpetual stepson’s from fairytales: of a boy who waited and waited for his chance till Anil Kumble’s retirement (and Harbhajan Singh’s slide in form), only to witness Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, and Ravichandran Ashwin take over.
Arguably the finest cricketer who had played for Railways for a long time, Kartik played a pivotal role in the twin victories of Railways at the turn of the millennium — the first two in their history — and more commendably, had guided them to the corresponding Irani Trophy triumphs.
Kartik’s finest international triumphs had come at Wankhede, where he routed Australia for 93 to pull off a sensational 13-run victory against Australia in 2004, and soon afterwards he pulled off perhaps the greatest ODI all-round performance by an Indian — destroying Australia with six for 27 and scoring 21 not out to help add 52 for the unfinished ninth stand to pull off a stunning victory.
Never short on the controversies front, Kartik was allegedly banned from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) — though many consider it a rumour — and made it to the headlines again by Mankading Alex Barrow. He had excellent stints in England, becoming the first overseas player to take a ten-wicket haul for Lancashire, and later playing an instrumental role in Middlesex’s Twenty20 victory.
Kartik was versatile in his approach, switching between the aggressive and the containing with seamless ease. He made small meat of Ranji Trophy teams with his turn, loop, and guile (and most famously, his arm-ball), but also played an excellent foil to the greats who played alongside him in the national side, often coming round the wicket to left-handers to cramp them.