Home > Features > Moments in history >

Dilip Doshi – An entry that was better late than never

Dilip Doshi – An entry that was better late than never

Dilip Doshi’s autobiography.

Dilip Doshi, born 22 December, 1947, was one of India’s finest spinners who remained on the fringes for quite some time, thanks to India’s spin army back then. Karthik Parimal looks back at the career of this masterly spinner who made his debut for India at the age of 32.

Four decades ago, if the West Indians were well-known for churning out a battery of fast bowlers, India was famous for its spin quartet. Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Bhagwat Chandrasekar were all a force to reckon with on the big stage. During this phase, spinners on the fringe in India — many of who could have been a regular feature in most of the other teams — never managed to make the cut, thanks to the extraordinary levels of standards set. Names such as Rajinder Goel, Padmakar Shivalkar and Rajinder Hans fall into that category.

However, there was a certain slow left-arm orthodox bowler who broke the shackles and donned the national colours after some remarkable performances in First-Class cricket. At the age of 32, Dilip Doshi, who was widely respected in the county circuit by then, played his first Test for India. On a placid Chennai track and against a formidable Australia unit, Doshi scalped six wickets after he was the fifth bowler to be used. Venkataraghavan, who was the other spinner in the side, rarely caused the Australian batsmen to flinch during that match, and it was Doshi’s spell that sent their middle-order into a tizzy.

Albeit being on the wrong side of the age as a debutant, Doshi subtly grabbed the opportunity and finished with figures of six for 103 in his very first outing. His orthodoxy and flawless bowling technique can be attributed to his priceless stint at Warwickshire. Australian journalist Gideon Haigh aptly summed up Doshi’s bowling when he wrote, “Although Doshi could turn the ball appreciable distance in responsive conditions, what left the strongest impression was how long he could make it hang in the air, as though suspended in a cobweb.” Although he was in the reckoning for quite some time before being picked to represent India, the wait was worth it in the end.

One might think that a five-wicket haul against a good side like Australia on debut would undoubtedly be a bowler’s finest performance, but Doshi ranks his three for 109 against the same opponents at Melbourne his best. “I had a fractured toe but I decided to play. Every evening I had to have electrodes clipped to my foot; they gave painful shocks but kept the swelling down. The next morning I would put the foot in a bucket of ice so I could get it into the boot. Very few understood why I did all that. I did it because I believed we were going to win and I had a part to play,” Doshi recalled. India indeed went on to win that closely-fought Test by a margin of 59 runs, and Doshi grabbed two more wickets in the second innings to complete yet another five-wicket haul.

Having made most of his limited opportunities, Doshi is one of the only two bowlers to have taken over Test 100 wickets after having made his debut post the age of thirty. The other is Australian cricketer Clarrie Grimmett, considered by many as the developer of flipper. For Doshi, Grimmett remains his favourite spin bowler that he didn’t watch.

Doshi’s bowling was considered top notch by many of his stalwart contemporaries. Apparently, Greg Chappell walked off flummoxed but impressed by one of Doshi’s deliveries that got the better off him. West Indian legendary all-rounder Garry Sobers too shook Doshi’s hand once after the latter had taken seven wickets in a county game for Nottinghamshire and said, “Well done, son, you’re all right.” It is unfortunate that Doshi played just 33 Tests for India, however, it must be remembered that he was overshadowed by none other than the mighty Bedi. Nevertheless, he finished with 114 wickets to his name.

It is said that Doshi’s career hit a roadblock not due to below-par performances, but because of his differences with the skipper. “Sunil Gavaskar was a master batsman; there are not many like him. But we didn’t see eye to eye on many occasions, and he was my captain. A bowler can be as good as his captain wants him to be or can make him out to be,” said Doshi in one of his interviews. There weren’t many words of praise for his captain in his autobiography Spin Punch either.

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Duleep Trophy 2014: Central Zone lead by 81 runs as North Zone bowled out for 457

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Student dies in Finland high school stabbing

Google partners Oxford University to teach machines to think

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

Laxmi Ratan Shukla to lead Bengal ODI team

School girl gang-raped in Bengal

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pavitra Rishta to air its final episode tomorrow

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

NGOs pursue education for all

Nokia turnaround since handset unit sale continues, reports $950 million Q3 net profit

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here