India's eternal comeback man has no regrets

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Indian cricket's eternal comeback man Murali Kartik may have been left out of the Asia Cup squad but the left-arm spinner has never allowed these frequent omissions to dent his morale and motivation to play for the country.

"I have been in and out of the national side which is part and parcel of the game. Still, I continue to enjoy my game and give cent per cent on the field while playing and that motivates me to keep going in tough times," Kartik said.

The Railways player, who took five wickets in the three matches during the Pakistan series, found himself out of the Sri Lanka-bound Indian squad with the selectors opting for only two specialised spinners for the Asia Cup."I performed well in the Pakistan series and naturally, I felt very dejected and depressed on being dropped for the Asia Cup," he said but added that playing for the country was his biggest motivation and that boosts his morale in these circumstances.

When asked whether the fear of not finding a place in the side for the next series affects his performance on the field, he replied with a firm 'no' and said it was the other way round.

"No, it works the other way round. I have nothing to lose, I know I may not be there in the next series so I play freely and concentrate on the game. There is no point in looking back and think on whether I could have done better or not. I can always improve in the next match."

To a query on which was his prized scalp during the recent Pakistan tour, Kartik said he enjoyed taking the wicket of rival skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq in one of the One-dayers, after being hit for two big sixes. "He is one batsmen who milks the bowlers and it is quite frustrating for spinners."

Talking about the present spinners in the Indian team, Kartik described the experienced Anil Kumble as a 'match winner' and said that he has this ability to fight back when chips were down.

He was all praise for Sri Lankan spin wizard Muralitharan for his ability to carry the entire team on his shoulders and said that he also respected Australian Shane Warne's ability to 'surprise' the batsman.

Kartik said former international Maninder Singh had a big influence on him as a bowler.

"I know that he was not able to match his potential in his playing days but he has been my mentor," he said, adding that he respected Bishan Singh Bedi for the 'guile' and 'trick' he possessed in his playing days.

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