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Our players lack fire in their belly, says anguished Doshi

Dilip Doshi

London: It’s easy to understand why Dilip Rasiklal Doshi is so very passionate about the India cap — he was almost 32 when he played his first Test.

On Saturday morning, Doshi (now 66 and a successful businessman) spoke to The Telegraph. Incidentally, he keeps shuttling between England and India.

Excerpts...

“How can I not be passionate when talking of India’s performances? I’ve been saddened by the shocking decline after winning at Lord’s...

“Instead of lording it over a demoralised England, we were so casual on the first day in the very next Test (Southampton)...

“Body language matters and our players’ changed so quickly...

“Conscience comes in and our players must ask themselves ‘aren’t they the luckiest around to be playing for India’? This is important...

“I’m not questioning their commitment, but what’s the priority? Is it or is it not to make a difference for India? I’d like an answer...

“Clearly, our players lack fire in their belly. They don’t seem hungry enough. I don’t want to get into the reasons, but I won’t blame the captain (Mahendra Singh Dhoni)...

“What can a general do if he’s saddled with lame soldiers? Players are like soldiers and have to give it their all. They don’t have the luxury of a choice...

“I remember playing the Melbourne Test, back in 1980-81, with a broken toe. We needed to win and I couldn’t have sat in the dressing room...

“Surely, Dhoni doesn’t have to motivate his players. Not at the highest level. If somebody actually has to be motivated, then he has no business wearing the India cap...

“The India cap must be the most valued possession for any player. He’s got to feel that way, not look at his bank balance...

“People tend to blame T20 and the IPL, but if the rest of the world can adjust to the different formats, why not India? Beats me...

“Test cricket demands discipline and discipline comes from application. Players need to be hungry...

“There’s no shame in going down fighting, but you don’t lose nine wickets in one session (Manchester)...

“Look at the way England bounced back after being at sixes and sevens at Lord’s. Credit to them for being 2-1 up. You have to applaud their spirit.”