DILIP DOSHI (MUMBAI, 1979)
Doshi was one of only two bowlers to that point who’d claimed 100 Test wickets after debuting in his 30s (Clarrie Grimmett was the other). Unfortunately, he was forced to compete with Bedi for the left-arm off-spinner’s position. Upon his debut, against Australia at Chennai in 1979, he made up for lost time, taking eight wickets (6-103 and 2-64). Coming into the Sixth and final Test in Mumbai, India was 1-0 up on the Aussies, who felt they had a good chance of levelling. But in response to India’s 8-458, they were spun out for 160, the smooth and clever Doshi taking 5-43. In their second innings, Doshi prised Border out when he looked doggedly dangerous on 61. The other two wickets were easy. Another match-winning eight. Bill O’Reilly wrote of Doshi that he “taught us by example … Refined, thoughtful and brilliantly executed spin can offer the game an exciting future.” Bill was right, and, coming after the celebrated spin quartet, Doshi was a harbinger of that future.