Seldom do I post exclusively about a sporting hero. Today I must because of the splendid performance shown by 31 year old Murali Kartik in the last One Day International against Australia at Mumbai yesterday.

The Railways left arm spinner, fresh from a successful season at Middlesex had been brought into the team at the express desire of the new captain M. S. Dhoni.

Murali’s 6 for 27 in 10 overs with 3 maidens was one of the best performances of high quality spin bowling one will see. What made it all the more impressive was that it was against the mighty Australians who have scored over 300 in all the ODIs against India this season.

The day was not over for Murali yet. At one stage India was in deep trouble at 64-6. Thanks to Uthappa and Harbhajan, India recovered with a 65 run partnership but the best was yet to come.

In a thrilling finish, Murali and Zaheer Khan put on an unbeaten 52 for the ninth-wicket in 62 balls amidst much pressure. Zaheer (31 not out, 43b, 3×4, 1×6) and Kartik (21 not out, 34b, 3×4), a right-left combination, survived with some luck, pluck and some effective strokeplay.

India won by 2 wickets with 4 overs to spare. Well done, Murali. You are the toast of India today!