Former Indian spinner Murali Kartik believes that he unintentionally hurt his chances by being very outspoken, and insists that, in hindsight, he should have stayed silent in order to bolster his chances of survival. Kartik feels that, in Cricket, outspokenness is a double-edged sword.
With over 1,000 wickets across levels, Murali Kartik is one of the most prolific spinners of all time, but the left-armer’s international career never took off. 46 times was all Kartik played for India and the left-armer represented the country a grand total of just 8 times in the longest format, despite being one of the most consistent performers in Ranji Trophy for an entire decade. The presence of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble did not help Kartik’s cause, but according to the 44-year-old, he might have hurt his own chances through the way he carried himself.
Now a renowned commentator, Kartik was one of the more outspoken personalities during his time as a cricketer, but in a chat with Ashwin, the left-armer said that he feels that he erred by always saying the ‘right things’.
“In life, I’ve felt like you always have to say the right things. You don’t need to say ‘nice’ things that are music to a different person’s ear, I’ve felt that you need to say the right things. Now I feel that if I’m given a second chance, I would like to not open my mouth and just go about my business silently,” Kartik said in chat with Ashwin on the latter’s YouTube Channel.
To prove his point, Kartik narrated an incident from his Test debut against South Africa in 2000. Kartik, in that game, as per his own admission, had a healthy argument with ex-skipper Sachin Tendulkar, but he insisted that if given a second chance, he wouldn’t have done that. According to him, while his intentions were right, being bold and outspoken carries the risk of being labelled by teammates as ‘arrogant’.
“I’ll give you a simple example. On my Test debut, I was asked by Sachin Tendulkar to bowl over the wicket in the second innings. I told Sachin directly that ‘Look, paaji. We didn’t score much in the first innings. Me and Anil bhai managed to bowl them out only by bowling positively. We don’t have many runs on the board, so we won’t be able to win by just bowling defensively.’
“In retrospect, I wouldn’t have said this. I would have just obeyed instructions and went about bowling according to the captain’s words. Paaji lauded me for being brave and outspoken, but I don’t know if other teammates might have misinterpreted my outspokenness as arrogance,” Kartik said.
Kartik, in many ways, got lost in the system, and the former Railways man asserted that the life mantra of being honest simply will not work in cricket. The 44-year-old believes that one might risk survival by constantly saying the right things.
“My mantra in life is that the intention of what you do should be right. That’s always been my sincere belief. But unfortunately, cricket does not work that way. Especially in a country of 1.5 billion people, survival is very very tough. You might have the urge to say the ‘right’ things but sadly it doesn’t work that way.”