Left-arm slows take centre-stage

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2007, 13:15 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

More images

Left-arm slow bowlers reaped rich harvest in the seven-match series between India and Australia, highlighted by Murali Kartik's record-breaking performance in the final game here.

The 31-year-old Indian bowler scripted the team's two-wicket consolation win in the day-night game here Wednesday with a haul of 6-27.

The figures were the best by an Indian bowler against Australia in one-dayers, bettering paceman Ajit Agarkar's 6-42 at Melbourne in 2004.

Kartik's haul just missed the record for the best ever one-day return by an Indian spinner, currently held by Anil Kumble. The leg spinner took 6-12 against West Indies at Kolkata in 1993.

But it was the best performance by any left-arm spinner, surpassing Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya's 6-29 against England.

Significantly, the bead necklace-sporting Kartik also span India to Test victory against Australia inside three days at this very venue in 2004-05.

Recalled to the squad midway through the series after 20 months in wilderness at the insistence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kartik repaid his skipper's faith with some inspired bowling.

Kartik kept batsmen on such a tight leash that while the other Indian bowlers gave away 26 wides Wednesday, he had none.

A beaming Dhoni had nothing but praise for his dark horse.

"Kartik bowled beautifully. He was spinning the ball across the face of the bat, varying his flight and line, mixing his length. It was intelligent bowling," he said after the win which helped India finish on 4-2.

In a throwback to a Test scenario, Kartik had a slip, gully and a silly-point to throttle the batsmen. He also sent down a few terrific arm balls.

Australia's left-arm chinaman bowler Brad Hogg also enjoyed success in the series although he came a cropper in the final game, conceding 40 runs off his eight overs without any wicket.

Hogg proved invaluable in the middle overs with the Indian batsmen, otherwise good players of spin, struggling to counter the bowler.

Captain Ricky Ponting said Hogg had been one of the revelations of the series, which Australia won 4-2.

"Hogg was unbelievable at the World Cup, he is only getting better with each game. With his high left-arm action, he has made it very difficult for batsmen to get into any kind of run-scoring rhythm.

"He bowls a very good wrong 'un, there's no doubt about that. Those sort of bowlers -- leg spinners who bowl with a high arm action from over the top -- are always the hardest to read.

"Even in the World Cup he undid a lot of batsmen with his wrong 'un. I think he's tending to bowl the wrong 'un a lot more and a lot better in recent times. It just shows he's still learning and still improving though he's 36."

Read more about: leftarm, slows, centrestage
Write Comments