Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide January 19, 2012

Laxman practises on off day


Even as there has been speculation regarding VVS Laxman's retirement, mostly emanating from BCCI sources in India, indications in Australia keep getting stronger that he will play the Adelaide Test. Thursday was the day off for both teams, but Laxman practised in the indoor nets of the Adelaide Oval for close to three hours. The indoor nets are off limits for the press, but Laxman was seen going in with Raghavendra DVGI, the team's throwdown and bowling machine specialist, who has worked with him and other batsmen in the NCA in Bangalore too.

Laxman has been under severe pressure after seven ordinary Tests away from home, which have produced just three fifties. All through his career Laxman has liked playing both against and in Australia, but this trip has got him just 102 runs at an average of 17. Calls for dropping him grew loud after India lost by an innings in Sydney, with former players and experts suggesting that if India had to keep losing, they were better off doing it with youngsters.

India went into Perth with an unchanged batting line-up again, and lost by an innings again. Laxman scored 31 and a duck. The day after Laxman was dismissed for zero, two national dailies in India quoted BCCI officials as suggesting Laxman had been asked to retire or face the axe. After Perth, Laxman has worked hard in the nets, spending a lot of time with coach Duncan Fletcher at the WACA before the team flew to Adelaide on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the day after India reached Adelaide, the players were given time off training. Australia will gather in Adelaide only on Friday. Laxman, though, was back in the nets at around 4pm. If Laxman retains his place, Rohit Sharma will have to wait for his Test debut: Virat Kohli top-scored in both of India's innings in Perth. The only way for both Laxman and Rohit to play is for Rahul Dravid to keep wicket, but to do so in a Test sounds outlandish even for a man of Dravid's commitment.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on January 22, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    Totally agree with @Punjin. This series has already been lost. For the sake of India's future, OLDIES LIKE SRT, VVS AND DRAVID SHOULD SIT OUT THE 4TH TEST AT ADELAIDE AND LET YOUNGSTERS LIKE RAHANE AND ROHIT PLAY . SRT, VVS and Dravid can have a grand retirement in a home series in India. Also DROP ISHANT AND VINAY AND LET ASHWIN AND OJHA PLAY.

  • sanjay on January 22, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    If Rohit Sharma does not get to play the 4th test there is something seriously wrong with this Capt and coach. He deserves a game.

  • Nirad on January 22, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @Dravid Gravitas have you served in the Indian dressing room??every one in the Indian dressing room likes sachin that's a fact....he inspired a nation to win the world cup and he inspired yuvraj to play his best( yuvraj said it before winning that he's plaing this cup for sachin) but you say otherwise, I wonder how can selfish player be so inspiring!!!......what if Dravid has volunteered himself to open??or the team management didn't want sachin to open?? As for vvs coming third he stated for 100 or so times that he likes to bat at no.3 and that's his fav don't come here and talk as if he did a gr8 sacrifice for the end of the day you are not in the team room or you know any player personally so how can you judge his PERSONAL character? You talk as if sachin is your born enemy....You or me can only judge them on their performances (what we see) not on their characters like you have been doing for some time now...cricinfo please publish.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Let Rohit play and Laxman will get another series or one more test as farewell match. If Rohit doesn't get a chance, it shows the incompetency of BCCI Selection committee which underlines the critics statement that reserve players are just meant as 'injury replacements'

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Why focus only on VVS? How many runs have Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid & yes, Sachin made individually? The problem is NOT individual players' performances, but the performance of the players as a team. Yes, India has lost 7/7 overseas Tests in a row. Until the England tour, MS Dhoni had never lost a Test series, home or away, with 8 or 9 of the same players in the team. So why have things changed? Two words. Duncan Fletcher. Gary Kirsten fostered a happy, relaxed team & the results speak for themselves. Since Fletcher took over, they've won 2 Tests at home against the W Indies. Whoopee. Fletcher has a record of leaving discord in his wake & this is clearly not the way to get a harmonious & happy Indian team. The same problem was apparent when Greg Chappell was coach. The BCCI need to find another coach from the same mould as Kirsten, as that's the only way India will reach the heights again.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    No skill to play in England or Australia - when will we blood youngsters? Rohit and Rahane have gone through the entire tour and not played a single meaningful game. Its not too late - try Rohit and Rahane in place of VVS and Gambhir. Have a plan to include one of Pujara, Tiwary, Mukund replace Dravid in the next year. Or else we will have a green lineup once the great 3 (and they are the great 3 no question) retire. Why was Vinay picked for tests? When we have better bowlers like Munaf, Irfan and the injured Mithun and Aaron. Time for a new approach as time has run out for the Indian batting lineup.

  • sharath on January 21, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    WAKE-UP. I want to enjoy TRI-SERIES/IPL/20-20world-CUP IN THE COMING 6 TO 8 MONTHS. I will see one more match and forget what may be the result. Dont worry who will stay, who will leave or who retire or who will be dropped caz next TEST MATCH IS FAR FAR FAR AHEAD. BY THAT TIME WHO KNOWS how many new HEROS will come up from all these matches in the gap of 8 MONTHS OF TIME. IN ICC calender it is very difficult to find a TEST MATCH FOR INDIA after this series. SO WHY SHOULD ALL WORRY WHEN THERE IS NOTHING IN THE NEAR FUTURE FOR TEST MATCHES. :)

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Indian team should discard the throwdown approach, as clearly it has not worked against the sharp Aussie attack. They should practice against the bowling of Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan. The throw down approach has been successful in introducing technical flaws into the batsmen's approach. Problem is that Indian Team uses test matches for their warmup. This is true for both the batsmen and the bowlers. That is how vinay Kumar bowls at 120km/ hr at Perth. That was ridiculous. Same is the approach of LUxman. He has now woken up after drawing cricket fan's ridicule at his careless batting and fielding attitude. Cricket fans have not forgotten his hand warmer attitude of fielding at slips with both hands in pocket. That shows his attitude towards cricket.

  • Ravi on January 21, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    please dont give any advise to the greats like v.v.s and laxman they know how to get out of such nightmare.........plz dravid give your best out in the adilade i m huge fan of yours

  • Thank You on January 21, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    I can't believe that people are calling for this guy's head - this guy has more talent than the entire current australian batting line up. India are playing on wickets that are tailor made by go against their game - this is the new direction that the english, australian and not south african boards have taken to hang on to a dying sport in their home countries. These teams will be humiliated in a worse manner than what India when they visit India. Any self respecting Indian curator should prepare a square turner where Indi field a quartet to spinners. Revenge is best served cold - the wickets in the sub continent are not grazing fields where games get over inside 3 days. It would great to see that same hospitality reciprocated and would love to hear Ian Chapell on the fitness and talent of his countrymen. Test cricket is going to get very polarized - only games worth watching will be sub contiental teams against each other or Eng, aus and SA against each other. What a waste

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