India's warm-up match against Somerset has been forgettable. The star-studded visitors were completely outplayed by the county team in the three-day warm-up match. (Also see: A look at the weapons of destruction)
However, out-of-favour Indian spinner Murali Karthik, who is in the opposition camp this time, said one should not read too much into India's tour match. "This is one of the flattest tracks in London. So, don't read too much into this warm-up game. We must not judge India's performance by this match," 34-year-old Karthik said on Sunday. (Also see: Compelling battles in England)
South African left-arm seamer Charl Willoughby was the wrecker-in-chief, taking 5-50 on Saturday against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
However, Suresh Raina's magnificent 103 not out helped the world's number one Test side restore some pride as they scored 224 runs in reply.
The hosts seemed to have carried forward their form into the second innings as well.
England skipper Andrew Strauss scored an unbeaten 109 and Peter Trego contributed a fluent 85 as Somerset declared at 260-2. India, in their second script, scored 69 for no loss to draw the game.
Karthik said it would be a tough fight between pacers S Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar and batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Raina for a spot in the playing XI. "It will be a tough call to pick between Sree and Praveen. Similarly between Raina and Yuvraj. But, it's a nice headache to have for (skipper MS) Dhoni," quipped Karthik, who has played eight Tests and 37 ODIs for India.
Karthik has been catching up with some of his former India teammates in the last few days. And like everyone in the world, he too is hopeful about batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar getting his 100th international ton in the first Test against England at Lord's beginning on Thursday, which will be also his first at the historic venue.
"Of course, the anticipation is huge for Sachin's 100th international ton. It will be a fitting tribute if he gets it at Lord's. It will be like landing on moon or climbing Mount Everest. Scoring that ton at Lord's will be an icing on the cake for his celebrated career," said the slow left-arm spinner, who turned out for Pune Warriors in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
However, life has been a bit harsh on Karthik. He has been ignored by national selectors for mysterious reasons time and again. "I was the man of the match in a Test match and dropped for the next one. It wasn't any different in the ODIs.
"The heartbreak continued in the IPL, too. I won the man of the match in the last match of the IPL III with the KKR in the third season, but they never retained me. I don't know what's going wrong with me," he concluded