Well bowled Karthik

Murali Karthik was one of the best Indian left-arm spinners.-K.BHAGYA PRAKASH

Murali Karthik’s career running parallel with that of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble might have harmed him a lot but nevertheless he was not considered after the exit of Kumble.

A little boy, early in his teens would turn up in the Sports Authority of India complex whenever the Indian Team had a pre-tour camp in the early 90s. His enthusiasm and his wide-eyed interest in absorbing each and every move of his heroes were fascinating to watch. Though originally from Madras, he settled down in Delhi, but kept in touch with Madras by playing in the local league. The little boy gradually made a mark for himself by taking up left-arm spin. As he came down to Madras, there was a fair bit of interest to see the young lad called Murali Karthik. Till today he is quick to point out that his name is Karthik and not Murali.

Though there is still some confusion with regard to his given name and surname, there is little confusion about the fact that he was one of the best Indian left-arm spinners. His was a strange career and he was unfortunate not to have played more for the country, but his chirpy, bubbling nature made him standout amongst his team-mates. Those very attributes also made some make loose statements about him but that did not deter Murali Karthik from being himself. He speaks his mind and does things that his conscience permits. In the last season, playing for Railways, he “Mankaded” a Bengal batsman which did not draw any favourable reviews but the left-armer was adamant that he was right and reassured all that he would do it again if given an opportunity.

His career running parallel with that of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble might have harmed him a lot but nevertheless he was not considered after the exit of Kumble. Karthik belongs to a group of cricketers who were considered either too young or too old! At no point in time was he told he was not picked due to lack of ability. This might have prompted Karthik to deviate from the norm at times but there again he did not go overboard even while he was apparently reacting to some provocation. His services for various counties in the UK kept him going apart from making different selection committees feel uneasy.

V. V. S. Laxman, his best friend in the cricketing circuit has made his feeling public and it will be difficult to say that Laxman allowed his emotions to get the better of him. After all, Laxman knows what he is talking about, having dominated the best of spinners during his time. Now that Karthik has decided to move on, I am sure he will be in touch with the game in some way. Besides, he will spend more time on the golf course where he will be happier as generally golf is relaxing.

Karthik can take pride from the fact that many in the fraternity will appreciate the fact that he was hard done by but it will be in Karthik’s interest to shut out his playing days from his mind completely. One can even perhaps expect Karthik to stir the pot up sometimes in the future with his forthright views. In as much as he bowled with a straight arm, he has equally shot straight off the field. Hopefully, he will resist the temptation to be tactful and thereby become a boring individual. I for one, would like to see him the way he has been all along and maybe someday play a round of golf with him, discussing various things in life. Well bowled Karthik (I am careful not to address you Murali) and wish you all the very best in your future endeavours.