Turn, turn, turn

Turn, turn, turn

Post by Shariq A. Tar » Thu, 11 Sep 2003 01:36:48

I have not seen Murali Kartik - is he really as good as everyone in
this article claims him to be. I mean if he can do all of the stuff
these former spinners say he can should he not be picked over Kumble
who for all his success has done mostly on turning tracks


Turn, turn, turn
Anand Vasu - September 9, 2003

The fourth in our series of articles examining how the Indian team is
shaping up for the coming 2003-04 season. This one focusses on

The emergence of genuine medium-pace bowling options has caused India
to rely less and less on their spinners. While Anil Kumble and
Harbhajan Singh might be two of the best spinners around, India often
play just one spinner, especially abroad. This virtually closes the
door on aspiring spinners in the country. Only injury, or
unavailability, even gives rise to the question of India's spin
bowling bench. And strangely, while a new medium pacer seems to crop
up every month, you don't need to look beyond three men if you're
looking to replace Harbhajan or Kumble. Wisden CricInfo examines the
options, and takes the opinion of some experts on this matter.

Murali Kartik
Murali Kartik is the best left-arm orthodox spinner in the country -
you won't get any arguments on that count. The fact that he has played
just four Tests and five one-dayers in the last four years, despite
showing immense promise, is testimony to the success Anil Kumble and
Harbhajan Singh have enjoyed. Kartik, once a hot-headed youngster, has
matured into a patient practitioner of a difficult art. He has made
vital contributions with the bat in domestic cricket, but his bowling
skills alone make him the first man the selectors should turn to if
Harbhajan or Kumble is injured.

Sarandeep Singh
Although an off-spinner, Sarandeep is a very different kind of bowler
from Harbhajan. Shorter in build and slower through the air, Sarandeep
does not quite generate the fizzing turn and bounce that makes
Harbhajan so difficult to play. Continued success in the Ranji Trophy
keeps him close to national selection. However, it is hard to see the
national selectors playing two offspinners in tandem and this weakens
Sarandeep's case. What does go in his favour is the fact that he has
made the best of any opportunities that have come his way.

Amit Mishra
Young, energetic and keen to give the ball a big rip, Amit Mishra has
had plenty of success recently. Four*** wickets, including a five-for
in the India A tour of England, meant that he returned home with his
reputation enhanced. Just 21 years old, Mishra has shown remarkable
control over his line and length in the three international outings he
has had so far. If the selectors take the strong move of bringing
Kumble's career to an end, Mishra will be the man they turn to.

The rest
When you get past these three, there's not much quality to choose
from. Sairaj Bahutule had a good Ranji season with Mumbai, but has had
his chances at the international level and failed to deliver. Another
man who caught the eye in the last season, was Ramesh Powar. Although
he did not have five-wicket hauls by the bagful, his offbreaks tilted
the balance in Mumbai's favour with crucial dismissals. While it's all
right to entertain some hope, neither should wait anxiously by the
phone for a call from the selectors.

Expert views
Maninder Singh: For me, Murali Kartik is a class apart. But you have
to consider the fact that Sarandeep has made the best of his chances
and Mishra has done well on A tours. In the end, though, Kartik wins
because he has great attitude to go with talent. He should be allowed
to do what he does best. In the few chances he got he was not allowed
to flight the ball too much and didn't always get the fields he
wanted. If you gave him the responsibility, and some freedom, I bet
he'll perform beyond expectations.

L Sivaramakrishnan: Murali Kartik is the one I would go with. He is by
far the best left-arm spinner in the country. If you remember, he was
practically the only bowler who did well against the West Indies. He
didn't get to play in New Zealand because of the wickets. I believe
he's the best bet for the longer version of the game. He gives the
ball a bit of air, and he can do well on different kinds of wickets.
Even in Mohali, where the ball doesn't turn square, he would be
effective because he beats batsmen in the air as well as off the
wicket. To my mind, it doesn't matter whether it's Kumble or Harbhajan
who's unavailable, Kartik's the next best spinner and he should get
the nod.

Arshad Ayub: I would certainly say that Murali Kartik is the first
person we should think of in case there's an injury to one of the
established spinners. I know that Mishra has been taking wickets and
that Sarandeep is a steady bowler, but Kartik is in a class of his
own. Sarandeep is the kind of bowler who can keep one end tight,
bowling a good line and length. But in the longer version of the game,
you need someone who can be disciplined and take wickets. In that
sense, if Kartik is given the right breaks, I'm sure he can be a
matchwinner for India at the highest level.


Turn, turn, turn

Post by bcl37 » Thu, 11 Sep 2003 01:44:26


> I have not seen Murali Kartik - is he really as good as everyone in
> this article claims him to be. I mean if he can do all of the stuff
> these former spinners say he can should he not be picked over Kumble
> who for all his success has done mostly on turning tracks

There is a season (when you'll be picked by BCCI) ,
(till then) turn, turn, turn.....


> Shariq