NEW DELHI: Thirteen years ago, like any enthusiastic youngster, he took a picture at Lord’s during a private cricket tour. It was a prize possession for Murali Kartik. “Little did I know Lord’s would be my home-ground one day,” reflected Kartik, at the end of a successful season with Middlesex as a professional.
“Its been very hectic and tiring because of the volume and frequency of cricket that is played in the county system; also the fact that I have been playing back to back seasons for three years running now... But it’s been a very enjoyable and profitable one,” said Kartik from London
Kartik finished with 51 wickets in 11 matches at 24; in one-dayers, he took 20 wickets in 13 games and nine wickets four Twenty20 matches.
He finished eighth best in the circuit and 20th overall in all forms of the game to become the only Middlesex player in the top, playing a crucial role in winning four matches on his own.
No wonder, Middlesex has retained him for next season too when a county will be allowed just one overseas player.
Experts like John Emburey and John Inverarity treat Kartik as a model spinner for aspiring bowlers in England. “That’s an honour in itself,” he said.
A long-time dream
From the time he pursued the game as a gifted cricketer in Chennai, Kartik had dreamt of playing in the English county circuit.
“I got this opportunity with Lancashire twice but both the stints were short. When Middlesex wanted me to play for them, I was honoured and accepted it because playing day in and day out over a period of six months at Lord’s (traditionally not a spinners pitch) was a challenge too good to miss.”
It has been a rewarding outing for Kartik.
“I have seen a different me in the past three years because playing here teaches you so many things.
“Different pitches, conditions and batsmen force you to adapt constantly. Playing 104 overs for four days and then travelling 200 miles the evening the game finishes to play in a 50 over game next day teaches you a lot.”
On specific adjustments to his bowling style, Kartik says, “it is important to know the optimum speed at which you are required to bowl on a certain pitch.”