Pune: He is one of the most experienced spinners playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). And going by his own reckoning, Murali Kartik is still "the second best spinner in India after Harbhajan Singh.”
The Pune Warriors India's left-arm spinner has had a decent run in the IPL so far, and he believes that being India's "second best spinner", he can still earn an India recall for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this year. "I personally believe I have a chance [to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup). I might be on the wrong side of 30s, but I think I am still the second best spinner in the country behind Harbhajan [Singh], probably alongside Ramesh Powar. Somewhere down the line, you live on hope. I think I am bowling well, and hopefully, things might turn around," Kartik said.
Having played T20 cricket in England, West Indies and South Africa apart from the IPL, Kartik's career T20 economy rate is a respectable 6.65 despite having opened the bowling. "It's [opening the bowling] something I have been doing for quite some time. Not just in [the] IPL but even in England and South Africa I have bowled the first over in a 50-over game," Kartik said.
Other than Kartik, many teams have opted to open the bowling with spinners in this edition of the IPL, and Kartik believes they have taken a cue from him. "They are probably doing it after seeing me," Kartik said with a smile. "Even [Ravichandran] Ashwin has been doing it, although he is an off-spinner," he added.
Kartik's team Pune have so far won four of their eight matches this season and are placed sixth on the points table.