Former India international Murali Kartik has rued the absence of an old-fashioned spinner in the country, saying the coffer is ‘literally bare’.

Kartik, a left-arm spinner himself, was speaking during an event in Kolkata where he drew parallel between the past and current era of Indian cricket. “There was a time when many spinners failed to get selected in their respective state teams as there was tough competition,” Kartik said during the launch of a book in the city. “But, now the Indian spin bowling coffer is literally bare, by which I mean old-fashioned spinners. There are some who can dart the ball but a spinner is someone who spins.”

He added, “We still want a (Muttiah) Muralitharan, a (Shane) Warne or a Daniel Vettori who can beat the batsmen in the air and be aggressive in their own way. That is missing right now.”

Spinners, Kartik says, during his time were taught how to deceive a batsman in flight but that has changed. “Nowadays, one can stand and deposit a bowler right behind his head. I feel the drop in quality. We were taught that we had to outfox batsmen in the flight or get hit. Our escape route was not to push fielders at long on or long off and get a catch,” he said.

“From 2011 to 2014, Indian cricket changed after we lost 0-4, 0-4 to Australia and England. We got wickets on pitches that were conducive for seamers,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.

Another former India international Deep Dasgupta agreed with Kartik saying the current crop of tweakers are scared of getting hit. “I can understand that with the advent of T20 cricket, a lot has changed but the basics cannot change. This generation of spinners are more scared of getting hit. Rarely would someone say I will get the batsman out at slip or silly point. That is a paradigm shit in the mindset of spinners,” Dasgupta said.