It is highly improbable that India’s spin attack against England will not include R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha who helped Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indians beat New Zealand 2-0 in September.
But that won’t prevent left-arm spinner Murali Kartik (36) from trying hard to prove that he is still a force to reckon with — never mind if the record books show that he played his last Test in 2004.
Several domestic cricket experts reckon Kartik has got a poor deal. Some felt he should have been included in the Indian team on their disastrous England tour of 2011 considering his county cricket experience. The eternal domestic battler, who played eight Tests, will look to make an impression on a full strength Mumbai team led by Ajit Agarkar and powered by Sachin Tendulkar.
Kartik has claimed 632 wickets in 190 first-class games and would be invaluable to the Railways just like the experienced Sanjay Bangar. The tweaker couldn’t help Central Zone win the Duleep Trophy in the final against East Zone recently, but picked four wickets in the first innings of the semi-final against North Zone. He had double centurion Yuvraj Singh caught and bowled for 208.
The Wankhede Stadium has provided Kartik some memorable moments. He made his Test debut here — against Hansie Cronje’s South Africans in early 2000.
Later that year, he claimed 9 for 70 for Rest of India to destroy Mumbai in the Irani Cup.