Murali Kartik's life has been all about being left out of teams and watching glumly from the sidelines.
Bangalore: Murali Kartik's life has been all about being left out of teams and watching glumly from the sidelines. For once, the left-arm spinner was probably lucky to sit out, for he escaped the ire of his angry captain, Sourav Ganguly, after KKR were thrashed by the Royal Challengers. Kartik has recovered sufficiently from a groin strain, picked up on the field and exacerbated by a fall in the bathroom, and will be a key player in KKR's remaining games.
Are you doing anything different for T20 cricket?
Nothing different. It's a thin line between trying for wickets and being economical. My theory is that if I can bowl four overs for 24 runs, I've done a job for the side. It doesn't happen every time, but if the mindset is like that, you're serving your team.
Spinners are considered cannon fodder in international limited overs cricket. But in this IPL, the top three bowlers by wickets and economy are spinners. Batsmen probably think we're cannon fodder and plays into our hands. Spinners are important because we take the pace off the ball. The white ball does not swing, reverse after a while. With the bowlers being shuffled so much, sometimes the ball isn't shined at all.
Leggies talk of zooters, offies of doosras, you left-arm spinners don't talk so much...
It's not just that we don't talk too much, but we also don't have as many fancy variations. Bishan Bedi always told me, 'Everybody knows you're a left-arm spinner but they still get out to you.' I'm still trying to better how I bowl the stock delivery.
How do you plan an over?
You back your instincts. People have asked me whether I gamble in life. I don't. The only place I gamble is when I bowl, because that's what I'm supposed to do. At the end of the day, T20 will help bowlers because you have to be the master of your skill under pressure. That's why I say I need to try and second guess the batsman.
You're now successful at county, Ranji and IPL cricket. Do you miss playing for India?
There's no question about that. If you've played for India and done well, there's no other place where you want to play. Sometimes you might think you don't belong to the international level because you've not had a good time there. But if you have, then nothing can match it. Not come to terms with it. I wouldn't say I'm frustrated, or disgruntled. But when people say you're the best spinner around and then my name isn't on the India list, that is sometimes amusing.