India news June 14, 2014

Murali Kartik retires from cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Indian cricket's nearly man

Murali Kartik, the former India left-arm spinner, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Kartik, 37, played eight Tests, 37 ODIs and one Twenty20 international for India. His first-class career, which began in 1996, spanned more than 17 years.

Kartik's career coincided with the dominance of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in the India side, and as a result, he never got a sustained run in Tests. He played four Tests in 2000, making his debut against South Africa in Mumbai but had to wait for more than three years for his next chance, which came against Australia in Sydney in January 2004, where he had a return of 1 for 211.

He bounced back with a solid showing against the same opponents at home later that year and his seven wickets were crucial in India winning the Mumbai Test in November. The first Test against South Africa in Kanpur later that month turned out to be Kartik's last, although he made a short-lived ODI comeback in 2007.

The comeback brought about his finest ODI performance, also against Australia in Mumbai, where he claimed 6 for 27 and then made an unbeaten 21 in a match-winning ninth-wicket partnership with Zaheer Khan.

"The Mumbai Test (match haul of 7/76) where I won the Man-of-the-Match award will always be special as we were able to restrict an Australian side chasing 103 (107)," he said, when asked to pick out his career highlights. "Also when Sachin presented me with my India Test cap and Kapil Paaji (then coach) presented the India hat."

Kartik was also a key member of the Railways side that made successive Ranji Trophy finals in 2000-01 and 2001-02, both times against Baroda. He played a vital role in their maiden title triumph in 2001-02, taking 5 for 51 and 3 for 7 in addition to scoring 69 in the second innings of the final.

In all, he played 203 first-class games and took 644 wickets at an average of 26.70. Nearly a third of those wickets were for English county sides Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey and Lancashire. He was also a handy batsman and was even used as an opener at times. He made 4423 first-class runs at an average of 20.19 with a highest of 96.

In the latter part of his career, Kartik also enjoyed success in the shortest format in England. He was part of Middlesex's T20-winning squad in 2008, and made two finals with Somerset in 2010 and 2011. He has represented Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors in the IPL and was picked by Kings XI Punjab in the 2014 auction. Kartik has said he will be available to play for Kings XI in the forthcoming Champions League T20.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ali on June 16, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    well well well ...

    the cricket john come latelys are out in full force calling kartik a mediocre bowler ..

    Truth be told, after 8 tests,, Swann, Warner, Kumble, Harjaban, Ajmal and the lot all had very POOR records ...

    You cannot judge a Bowler who has played 40-50 tests to a guy who has played 8..

    The mere playing at the highest level regularly , improves a spinner !

    If Kartik (or any spinner) was invested in , for 20 Tests in 3 years, i can guarantee they will be twice the bowler they were on debut ...

    Shillingford and Narine are perfect examples ...

    Shilly was averaging 60 at one point..and has not dragged his average down to 34.. Narine was aveagin 50+ at one point , and has draged his down to the low 40's ...

    if Narine is allowed 14 Tests on the Trott, by the time he gets to 20, he'll have a low 30 average ..

    Kartick might have been averaged about 29 in Tests, had he gotten 40-50 games

  • Chalu on June 16, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    Kartik was a poor bowler loved by his state fans only..

  • Mayank on June 16, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Murali Kartik is a gud bowler but i think he don't get much chances to prove himself worthy. MK utilize his skills in county cricket very well, he is one of the best spin bowler in county cricket. I think now he can do Commentary which he already did earlier and he could also be a spin bowling coach. All the best for future MK.

  • Dummy4 on June 16, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    Well done. Wish u a happy retired life. I am pretty sure you will take up the mike to start your new career. You should also thank Shri.Iqbal sir(Ex-EID Parry & Co) who brought you to the world of cricket in chennai when you are doing your schooling. He used to conduct the coaching camp during summer at Madrase-Iz ground opp. to LIC and bring every day one person from the cricket field to encourage the young people to take up cricket. Great sir.

  • Anver on June 16, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    Well served MK... hope one of his former counties, offer him a role of spin coach & share his knowledge & skills with youngsters to uplift the standard of spin in Eng cricket !!! I guess even as a commentator he's not bad at all... My Best Wishes !!!

  • Shehan on June 16, 2014, 4:24 GMT

    Mediocre bowler at international level. Poor avg and SR, especially in tests abroad. No idea what the fuss is about.

  • Dummy4 on June 16, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Quality bowler who genuinely troubled Australia at their peak and was for many years ahead of Harbhajan who never seemed to get dropped.

    Joins Mohammad Kaif and Irfan Pathan among the Indian careers that never were.

  • Android on June 15, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Fiesty character ... wankhede test match in 2004 and Odi in 2007 brought his best. @inswing he made his debut at 23, kumble was the front line and later Harbhajan dominated

  • B on June 15, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    In many ways he was the Shivalkar of our times, living in the shadows of Kumble and Harbhajan - very utilitarian and clearly a team player. Had Ganguly showed disdain for MK, much as he did with S. Ramesh, and both could clearly walk into a playing XI in their days.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Absolutely wonderful cricketer, he had everything in his favour but him being very vocal was the reason for his downfall too. Silky smooth action, wonderful loop, variations, guile but Sourav Ganguly did not like him which is a fact too. Anyway all the best Kartik for your retired life.

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