Spinners have adapted, says Murali Kartik

Kartik looking forward to a good season with Royal Challengers

Spinners have adapted, says Murali Kartik

Murali Kartik is still considered the best active left-arm spinner in the country by many but somehow the Railways’ player didn’t find favour with successive selection committees.

 

Having spent many years waiting for that elusive call, the 36-year-old finally appears to have detached himself from the idea of making a comeback. While doing well for the Royal Challengers Bangalore -- his third IPL side since playing for Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors -- remains a top priority, Kartik did rue his luck so far as international cricket was concerned. The Chennai-born player, who has played in eight Tests and 37 ODIs for India, spoke to the media on Thursday.

Excerpts:

Has the role of a spinner evolved in T20s?

The first time I played T20 cricket, I went for 39 runs in four overs, against Surrey. Then I thought ‘this is not the game for spinners.’ Having come from the old school of playing four-day cricket and 50-over cricket, I was trying to bowl the 50-over way which didn’t work. Everybody thought that we -- the spinners -- are going to be easy meat. As life teaches you to survive, the spinners have tried different things. Now you can see so many spinners bowling close to three overs in the Power Play. I have been bowling the first over in Power Plays for most of the teams I have played for – Pune Warriors, KKR, Surrey, Somerset or Railways. From being a cannon fodder, you’re bowling within the Power Play. That shows how much the spinners have come around. And 140-145 scores are sometimes defendable when the spinners have a massive role to play. The economy rate of spinners is also something I believe is getting better.

Have you been working on any variations?

I bowl six different deliveries and the batsman hits them for sixes to different parts (laughs)... that’s all I can say. I have never been the one who has gone and tried these things. I try my own things relying on subtle variations which I have learnt after playing the game for so long. I think I am a classical left-arm spinner, and I do my things in a very different way.

Do you think IPL is a good platform to return to the National team?

I don’t think like that. Personally, I have never looked at IPL as a criterion to get picked in Tests. If you do well in T20s, you need to get picked in T20s and if you do well in 50 overs, you need to get picked in 50 overs. Yes, it has helped people like Ashish (Nehra) and Bala (Lakshmipathi Balaji).

Does it affect you that you have been doing well in county and domestic cricket and you have not got the call up?

You can’t fight destiny. God has been kind enough to me and allowed me to play for my country. Wherever I go and play, I just need to bowl well and bat well. Given the situation, I need to adapt and that’s all I have looked at. There might be a lot of guys who are willing to be in my place today.

What is your opinion of Virat Kohli being named as the captain?

He is somebody who has been earmarked as a leader not only for this team but also for India. He was the vice-captain to (MS) Dhoni, and if my memory serves me right, on a couple of occasions he has stood in for Dhoni. He is a young guy who has got precocious talent and he has got that attitude and zeal... that is good to have in a captain. He is in a good frame of mind and space right now.

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