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India vs England: Spinners chasing instant success, not learning basics - Dilip Doshi

Left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi, who played 33 Tests in four years, from 1979 to 1983, feels T20 and chasing quick success has hurt the training of spinners.

cricket Updated: Aug 28, 2018 08:11 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Southampton
India vs England,Dilip Doshi,Kuldeep Yadav
India's Kuldeep Yadav, left, and Ravindra Jadeja wait to bowl during a training session at Lord's Cricket ground in London.(AP)

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s Test role has at least temporarily been halted. After disappointing in the Lord’s Test, he is back home playing for India A.

With India next to tour Australia at the year end, Kuldeep may not be needed. However, the wrist spinner is at least key to limited-overs cricket. But a left-arm orthodox spinner is way down the pecking order. Ravindra Jadeja is part of the squad in England. His eight-wicket haul won India the Chennai Test in 2016 against England on the last day. But he has only been used as a substitute, to use his brilliant throwing arm.

Left-arm spinner Dilip Doshi, who played 33 Tests in four years, from 1979 to 1983, feels T20 and chasing quick success has hurt the training of spinners. “One problem with modern-day cricket in India is that the crop of open-chested spinners is big. Out of 100 marks, you are playing with 60, which limits you. The truly great in the game succeeded on every pitch. This game is side on, even Virat Kohli looks over from the shoulder while batting,” he says.

Looking for instant success

Asked about the decline of left-arm spin, he says he will analyse and not criticise.

“Any bowler worth his salt, if the action is not side on, he can’t pivot on the foot, propelling of the ball can’t happen. It’s the curse of the modern game. Short formats will give you instant success, the cup of joy will be full. But sometimes it becomes too late to change (action). Earlier, people groomed themselves into classical bowlers.”

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Doshi feels spinners today are too defensive. “On a good pitch, the spinner has two-three fielders on the fence straightaway. It tells the batsman the bowler doesn’t have the confidence. For an off-spinner, having a deep point is a strict no. I’m old school, but this is an old game.

“Subtlety and deception of flight comes from a side-on action. If you are open-chested, the non-bowling arm will drop quickly. It’s deception of flight that makes a batsman lunge, commit himself on the front foot. Nowadays batsman play spin from the crease.

“Graeme Swann was the last of the classical spinners,” he points out. “Ashwin is top quality, but strictly in the modern sense.”

Too many coaches

Doshi also feels too many coaches spoil international teams.

It isn’t entirely the players’ fault. “Today we have too many people running the game, too many involved in management. There is abundance of money, so we have positions; jobs have been created to spend the money.

“I believe there is no coach needed for international cricket. Ravi Shastri was himself a player, so he is more of a manager. Having been a successful cricketer, he knows what to say in the dressing room.

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“But no great team – Don Bradman’s, Steve Waugh’s, the great West Indies teams, none had coaches. Our Indian team didn’t have one, we helped each other. At Test level, you only need managers.

“You may need a fielding coach, a masseur, but if I have to guide a player, he shouldn’t be there (in the team) at all. They should come in ready. You don’t need an analyst to tell you where to hit, or where a bowler has been hit. That makes the player lazy. What happens if the planning goes wrong?”

First Published: Aug 28, 2018 08:10 IST