In a chat with the famous stand-up comedian Vikram Sathaye during his show, ‘’What The Duck” Murali Kartik revealed an interesting incident in which he sledged the current Head Coach of Indian cricket team The Great Anil Kumble, “We were playing Challengers in 1999 or 2000. Just before my Test debut, I was playing for Azhar’s team. It was India Seniors versus India A during that time. Now the teams’ names have changed. I went to bat and we were in a bad position. I ran at him [Anil Kumble] on the first ball. He laughed. Well, I don’t spare anybody on the ground. I never spared anyone. If anything comes then I will tell. So, one bat and pad fell at Anil Bhai. Anil Bhai being Anil Bhai, he said something.”
Actually, Kumble laughed at Kartik and commented on him after the fall. In reply, Kartik, being Kartik, replied in a very aggressive way by adding, “I said where all this in Australia because we had just lost that Australia series. When you were in Australia your tail was between legs at that time.”
Both Kartik and Sathaye shared a big laugh with each other after the incident was revealed by Kartik. “So you actually said this to Anil Kumble as to why he did not behave the way he did with you against Michael Slater, Steve Waugh. Sir, I salute you. Learn bravery from him.” Said a delightful Sathaye.
But the best part was yet to be revealed by Kartik as within next 10-15 days he was selected for the Indian team and guess what? Anil Kumble was his room partner he recalls. “It got over on the ground and either coincidence or real, whatever you may consider, I got selected for India in next 10-15 days. First Test match was in Mumbai. I went to the reception of Taj. At that time it was before the Hansie-gate. Before we started getting single rooms. So you had to share a room. I went and signed and I saw who my room partner is Anil Kumble. I said I am finished. Inside I am like, what will happen now? I will get a scolding.”
On the contrary, Kumble behaved quite opposite to what Kartik was expecting “Anil Bhai is somebody if you see people say that everyone’s condition would become bad on the ground while fielding his bowling. But he never mentions it outside the field. So he forgot. I was like, I thought I will get a scolding. This is Indian team, not Ranji Trophy team where you change roommates. I can’t tell anybody in the Indian team that I will get beaten by Anil Bhai, so I moved in and everything was fine, he was absolutely chilled out.” Says Kartik.
This was not the only incident which he shared as he revealed another unheard story between the two. This happened in the same room during their first stay with each other. This time, Kumble was irritated by landline “Lots of people started calling up. There were no mobile phones at that time. So they had to call Taj Mumbai. So they kept calling. Landline was near Anil Bhai. Every time, Kartik it’s for you, Kartik it’s for you. It’s for you. He got irritated and said, I don’t understand who the star here is. You or me?” both Sathaye and Kartik shared a big laugh again.
When Murali Kartik made his test debut in the year 2000, Anil Kumble was already a permanent member of the Indian cricket team, Harbhajan Singh who made his debut in 1998 was a competition of Kartik at that time for the one empty spot. At last, Bhajji was the winner and Kartik could only appear in 8 test matches and 37 ODI’s. He also played one T20I against Australia in Mumbai.