A left-arm spinner in the classical mould, Murali Kartik had long been on the fringes of the national team without sealing a regular place. He has a high-arm action straight from the coaching manual, and possesses all the weapons in his armoury. But he hasn't always had the breaks and played the understudy to Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh for most of his career. He came close to selection during India's disastrous tour of England in 2011 but Amit Mishra was preferred.
Kartik forced his way into the Indian team in 1999-2000 after impressive performances in the domestic games, but didn't seem to enjoy Sourav Ganguly's confidence and was either used as a defensive option or underbowled. He made his mark as a one-day bowler against West Indies in 2002-03, consistently keeping the batsmen in check on flat pitches.