Indian cricket August 20, 2012

When Laxman batted, nothing else mattered

Rutvij Merchant
Laxman's technique is marked by little footwork and a tendency to hang back in the crease that fosters an air of vulnerability around his batsmanship. Perhaps, it is this apparent susceptibility that creates a sense of beauty and delicacy
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In the late 1990s, aged seven, I watched my first India-Pakistan match in Sharjah. I have vivid memories of screaming, "Jeetega bhai jeetega, Hindustan jeetega (India will win)," infused with patriotic fervour. But regardless of which side won, all I wanted to see was a Saeed Anwar hundred. Representing the true power of sport, his peerless timing derived from wrists uncocking just the right amount to caress a drive to the boundary, made me forget all vestiges of national allegiance, rendering jingoistic thoughts petty in the face of an artist at work.

Similarly, when Laxman announced himself with a silky 167 in Sydney on the 1999-2000 tour of Australia, cricket found its muse and a love affair began.

I find it very hard to put into words the one quality that touch players such as Gower, Anwar and Laxman have that can send you into rapture. They lack the consummate perfection of a Tendulkar, the cocktail of arrogance, timing and power of a Lara, the technical excellence of a Dravid; indeed Laxman's technique is anything but classical, marked by little footwork and a tendency to hang back in the crease that fosters an air of vulnerability around his batsmanship. Perhaps, it is this apparent susceptibility that is a necessity, the fragility creates a sense of beauty and delicacy in every flicked pull and supremely-timed back-foot punch that flows from his blade.

Further, for someone whose technique can be construed as a weakness, he has exhibited a remarkable ability to perform when his country needs him the most. A 103 on a fifth-day turner at the P Sara Oval, 73 in Mohali against Australia, the instances are numerous ... This capacity to just simply bat when the pressure is immense is what, in my opinion, truly makes Laxman special.

Watching him at such times is akin to a spiritual experience due to the sheer equanimity that he exudes, rendering the match situation almost obsolete even in the eyes of the viewer. Whether 77 for 4 chasing 250 in the last innings, or 300 for 4, once Laxman is in and the effortless weight transfer through the crease and the supple wrists coax a flicked on-drive to the fence, it all feels the same, the tension associated with India struggling simply dissipates. The precarious situation is forgotten; in fact it is reduced to the status of something quite inconsequential, as you are ensconced in a bubble, where the only thing that registers is his batsmanship. This astounding ability to blissfully bat on normally, regardless of the pressure, rubs off on the viewer; his style simply pushes aside the strife.

An archetypal middle-class Indian background has helped him wear his greatness lightly too. When my uncle met him on tour in the West Indies, he proved remarkably forthcoming. They exchanged emails, which my uncle assumed was simply an act of courtesy until he was surprised on his return home by Laxman inquiring as to a safe journey back, my uncle's thoughts on the tour and the well-being of his family. Undoubtedly, an act of immense humility that provided me with an insight into his dignified character, an aspect that will in all probability be missed as much in the dressing room as his cricketing prowess.

With the changing times, a propensity to hammer the ball into space is evident, with far more emphasis placed on the product rather than the process. Caressing boundaries in a way that the cherry itself would almost want to come back asking for more made Laxman probably the last bastion of a dying breed. This decline of the touch player is extremely disappointing as, though they may not be many things - such as adept at Twenty20, or capable of mammoth hits (Laxman has just five sixes in Test cricket) or innovative strokeplay - only they manage to uplift batting to an art form, allowing the viewer a momentary glimpse of a higher, purer game that got lost somewhere along the way.

Laxman retires, with no significant batting record to his name, but somehow it makes no difference. Any records that he does hold may be overtaken, but the manner in which they were set will never be simulated. For now, all we can do is pray that Youtube never goes bust since the emergence of another player of VVS's ilk looks increasingly unlikely.

Perhaps, I should leave the last words to Tendulkar: after his and Laxman's 353-run partnership in Sydney in 2004, where Tendulkar was the model of extreme self-restraint, he said: "I had just decided to stay there … and watch from the other end."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shailendra on September 19, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Last two para defines the character of VVS.. Talent like him can never be found nor replaced.. He is one of his kind!

  • Anil on August 31, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Awesome article. What India will miss apart from Laxman's batting and slip catching is his ability to tire the opposition and break their resolve when he plays a long innings. Don't understand what I mean? For me he is a unique batsman because his timing is such that the ball picks up speed after it crosses the 30 yard circle. It always teases the fielders and gives them hope that they can may be prevent it from reaching the boundary. Watching him bat was always a pleasure. We will miss his surgical precision in finding gaps between fielders, his amazing wrist work,lazy elegance and the calmness he used to bring when he was at the crease irrespective of the match situation.

  • Anupam Nath on August 28, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    VERSATILE..VERY VERY SPECIAL....VVS..........SUCH AN ART..UNFORGETTABLE

  • niyati on August 27, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    rutvij...your article is really well written - I think you should start a blog - agree?

  • samsam on August 22, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Among the legend cricketers that Hyderabad produced, Laxman will stay on top. Inspired by his fellow cricketer azher, the master wrist stroke play work seems to be an instinct of the southerners. Hats off to the great Laxman, he called it a day on the right time. we wish him happy post cricketing life off the field.

  • Juan on August 22, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Brilliantly written, we will miss VVS :(

  • prakash on August 22, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Very well written. Thank you

  • venkat on August 22, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar while commentating a test match in Australia had exhausted all adjectives to describe the strokes played by VVS. He then chose to sum it up by saying ohhhhhooooooooohhhhhh.

    That to me was the best description of the strokes he played on that tour.

  • jitendra shah on August 22, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    well done rutvij! very well written !

  • Dr. Ahad Khan on August 22, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Test Cricket will miss one of the most delightful Stroke-maker & one the game's True Gentleman. When Laxman is batting, there is not one bit of clumsiness in his movements - it is like Poetry in motion - it is like watching a Painter's wristy use of his Paint-Brush - it is so soothing on the eye ! I will miss you whenever I will be watching Test Cricket. with fond memories, Dr. Ahad Khan - Sydney

  • Shailendra on September 19, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Last two para defines the character of VVS.. Talent like him can never be found nor replaced.. He is one of his kind!

  • Anil on August 31, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    Awesome article. What India will miss apart from Laxman's batting and slip catching is his ability to tire the opposition and break their resolve when he plays a long innings. Don't understand what I mean? For me he is a unique batsman because his timing is such that the ball picks up speed after it crosses the 30 yard circle. It always teases the fielders and gives them hope that they can may be prevent it from reaching the boundary. Watching him bat was always a pleasure. We will miss his surgical precision in finding gaps between fielders, his amazing wrist work,lazy elegance and the calmness he used to bring when he was at the crease irrespective of the match situation.

  • Anupam Nath on August 28, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    VERSATILE..VERY VERY SPECIAL....VVS..........SUCH AN ART..UNFORGETTABLE

  • niyati on August 27, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    rutvij...your article is really well written - I think you should start a blog - agree?

  • samsam on August 22, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Among the legend cricketers that Hyderabad produced, Laxman will stay on top. Inspired by his fellow cricketer azher, the master wrist stroke play work seems to be an instinct of the southerners. Hats off to the great Laxman, he called it a day on the right time. we wish him happy post cricketing life off the field.

  • Juan on August 22, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Brilliantly written, we will miss VVS :(

  • prakash on August 22, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Very well written. Thank you

  • venkat on August 22, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar while commentating a test match in Australia had exhausted all adjectives to describe the strokes played by VVS. He then chose to sum it up by saying ohhhhhooooooooohhhhhh.

    That to me was the best description of the strokes he played on that tour.

  • jitendra shah on August 22, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    well done rutvij! very well written !

  • Dr. Ahad Khan on August 22, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Test Cricket will miss one of the most delightful Stroke-maker & one the game's True Gentleman. When Laxman is batting, there is not one bit of clumsiness in his movements - it is like Poetry in motion - it is like watching a Painter's wristy use of his Paint-Brush - it is so soothing on the eye ! I will miss you whenever I will be watching Test Cricket. with fond memories, Dr. Ahad Khan - Sydney

  • Dr. Ahad Khan on August 22, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    Test Cricket will miss one of the most delightful Stroke-maker & one the game's True Gentleman. When Laxman is batting, there is not one bit of clumsiness in his movements - it is like Poetry in motion - it is like watching a Painter's wristy use of his Paint-Brush - it is so soothing on the eye ! I will miss you whenever I will be watching Test Cricket. with fond memories, Dr. Ahad Khan - Sydney

  • S.N.SINGH on August 21, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    COUNTRIES PLAYING TO WIN. WITH THE SNIOR PLAYER TENDULKAR,DRAVID AND LAXMAN, INDIA DEPEND ON THEM. THE YOUNGER PLAYERS WILL HAVE TO TRY AND MAKE THEIR FUTURE IN THE GAME. I LOVE TO LOOK AT LAXMAN, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE FLICK ON THE ONSIDE AND NO ONE MOVES. INDIA HAVE PLAYERS LIKE, KHOLI, RAINA, SHARMA YUV RAJ, PUGHARA,TIWARI, YET TO MAKE THEIR PLAY FOR THE SIDE. SO FAR KHOLI IS THE MAN. ROHIT HAS TO WAIT ESPECIALLY IF YUV RAJ CAN BE FIT. WHAT INDIA NEED IS TWO SPECIALIST SPIN BOWLER AND TWO MEDIUE/FAST BOWLERS. INDIA TEAM IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT GOOD BOWLERS. I. SHARMA AND DINDA WILL MAKE A BIG IMPACT FOR INDIA DINDA IS TH FASTEST IN INDIA. HE NEED TO HAVE HIS DIRECTION UNDER CONTROLL. BEST WISHES TO LAXMAN IN HIS NEW ADVENTURE. S.N.SINGH USA

  • Huzaifa Husain on August 21, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Great stuff! well written. Laxman timed his retirement to perfection, just like one of his cover drives! I would also recommend reading murali kartik's tribute to VVS. We will surely miss him on the field! dont think we have any artists left in the present indian domestic setup. lets not get sad, laxman is still gonna play for hyd, so we have not seen the last of him on a cricket field yet!

  • padman merchant on August 21, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    Excellent article great tribute to VVS.

  • Arun on August 21, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Your blog indeed talks of a "dying breed" of sporting greats who had the element of looking at the game as "mind over matter". We will never see the kind of sports personalities like Prakash Padukone, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, David Gower or Very Very Special "Laxman". They mastered the art of their game by taking it to the next level. Be it cricket or any sport, now what matters more is Wins against Loss.One of the reasons why Hockey as a sport has lost interest among the people of India. Where there was grace and skill, it is only power and stamina. That is why we gasp when some like Federer or Messi still are able to do what they do. It is unfortunate that the media did not devote as much time to VVS as they did for Dravid, Ganguly or Jumbo Kumble. We are surely going to miss this sublime artist.

  • Arun Kumar K on August 21, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Wonderful article. The best line was "Caressing boundaries in a way that the cherry itself would almost want to come back asking for more made Laxman probably the last bastion of a dying breed". Great work Rutvij.

  • S A Raja on August 21, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    Well Written Rutvij. Great Tribute to a Great Batsman. We will missss uuuu VVS!!! Keep these coming!!!Raja

  • Prakash on August 21, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Excellently written. Also it is sad the way Cricket is heading and probably there won't be much difference between Baseball and Cricket as far as batting is concerned. At least the videos are there and we can always watch unlike the older generations whom we could only hear about.

  • Harinder on August 21, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    I have never felt so sad when a cricketer retired. This man was an artist and a treat to the eyes while at the same time he saved India on numerous occasions and won matches from hopeless situations. That is the greatness of this man. VVS, Test cricket will never be the same without you. Thank you for every second you stood on the ground.

  • Anonymous on August 21, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    "In the late 1990s, aged seven, I watched my first India-Pakistan match in Sharjah." Does that mean you are in your early 20's today? If so, I am gratified and somewhat perplexed. If not, you have perfectly summed up my feelings as a 31 year old whose favourite cricketer will always be VVS. Either way, extremely well written, buddy.

  • Subramanian on August 21, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Well Written and a wonderful tribute . The Written word is not enough to describe VVS the poetry at play . The experience is sublime . Have to only thank my stars that I belonged to the era of Laxman & Dravid , the Gentleman Cricketeers . Good Wishes to both their families and multiple thanks to them for having gifted them to us for so long . VVS I will certainly miss you .

  • gautam chintamani on August 21, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Laxman exemplifies the definition of a great cricketer. The art of applying talent in situations that demand your craft to adjust to the need and yet be true to one's natural game is what shows character and Laxman had that in abundance. The innings that he has played with tailenders are testimonies about how inspiring he can be.

  • sampat on August 21, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Stan MaCabe will be remembered for three great innings he played for Australia. VVS has produced a few more gems crafted with great artistry. Let us continue to cherish them

  • Sunil Mehta on August 21, 2012, 0:36 GMT

    A man who has a cocktail of batting qualities in ai classical mold. The grace and elegance in his stroke play will be firmly be etched in the minds of people especially who those who had a chance to virtually view the grandiose and exemplary knock of 281 which even THE WISDEN embossed it as the SIGNATURE knock.

    Alas ! As they say a star with a silver lining comes once in a while . Same is the case with VERY VERY SPECIAL LAXMAN. We will not see another such for quite a long .

    The current crop of batsmen are merely a shadow or ghostly following of THE BASTION CLUB OF FAB 4.

    LAXMAN , here's wishing u good luck in all your futur endeavors be it coaching, batting management etc.

    All I wished was u continued playing till u hit 10000 runs or scored 25 tons - a milestone u were truly capable of.But as they say karma has its own say in matters.

  • sanjay goel on August 21, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    Extremely fluid writing and a great tribute to an artist who painted with the bat.

  • Sandeep on August 20, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    +1 to Prashanth

  • Jay Srikanth on August 20, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    I have been fortunate to see in person three of his beautiful innings at the SCG. I remember a holding a banner saying "VVS - Laxative for Aussies". I will always cherish those moments. His wristy pull from outside the off stump to mid wicket is a treat to watch. Thanks VVS.

  • B.Chaitanya on August 20, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    The present-day Cricketing fraternity,from now-on will surely miss the artistry, velvety touch and magic wrist-play of the Classy,Very Very Special V.V.S.Laxman.Truly,he belongs to a class of his own.

  • prakash on August 20, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    Lovely article! I missed the hey days of the fabulous five largely because I was consumed with my career in Physics (as absorbing as cricket). Then I watched Laxman, Rahul and Sachin bat online. What a symphony? I do not know that I loved one better than the other. The distinguishing thing about Laxman was that he took the opposition apart (I have many of his great knocks bookmarked and watch them often). Pure poetry in his strokes. To couch grit in such grace comes to very few.

    All the best VVS.

    Prakash

  • prashanth on August 20, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    Its great tribute to the legend of test cricket. he has played many match wining innigs to give victory to our team and come out with the flying colors for our country. the innings which he played in kolkata along with THE WALL would cherish for years long. he is player of determination and simplicity. i thought of watching him in his fav no.3 position in HYD playing againt NZ. circket feternity has lost the wrist play and class of the great player.he has tought us that how strong we need to bounce back when nothing working towords us.the lengends of the cricket has retired where most people just see their batting partnership. the BCCI and ICC should start finding the players of there quality to save TEST Cricket.we salute you sir for the glory you bought to the game of cricket.

  • Sandeep on August 20, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Excellent article. One of the best VVS innings was the 96 he made against South Africa in the 2nd innings of the Durban test that India won. He was the only player on both sides who seemed perfectly at home and read the pitch conditions so well. The next best score in the match was 38, by Laxman himself in the 1st innings!

  • Shiva on August 20, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    One Somehow felt let down by not seeing tributes justifying and capturing what Lakshman meant (there were a few nice ones when Dravid retired), but that sense of desperation stands fulfilled reading this. Thanks Rutvij! Plea to Cricinfo : Well done, leave this pinned on the front page.

  • Harsh Thakor on August 20, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    One of the most elegant batsmen ever to have played cricket and an all -time great master in match-winning run chases.At his best in the Tendulkar-Lara class and one of India's greatest match-winners.No batsman from India has performed as well in Australia as Laxman did in 2003-04.His 281 not out v.Australia in Calcutta is amongst the top 5 best innings of all time.In run chases in the 4th innings he overshadowed many a great batsman.Posessed more natural ability than many great batsman but failed to do complete justice to his talent,just like Gundappa Vishwanath.

  • Shankar on August 20, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Well nicely written article...about a very very special batsman :)...

  • Raj on August 20, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    As a true VVS and an Indian cricket fan, watching VVS bat will remain some of my most cherished cricketing memories from the last decade and a bit. Test cricket is a lot poorer by Laxman's exit and Indian cricket more so. Are we to see Test cricket's dwindling status further accelerating that with the retirements of Kumble, Dravid and now Laxman? It'll indeed be a very sad thing for the true fan if there fears do come true. VVS, thank you for entertaining us the way only you could and still remain the same humble person you always were and wish you the very best for your future.

  • pradeep on August 20, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Records are special but what made vvs special was his humility ,his anybody-could-have-done-tht attitude...he was special coz he never threw his weight to show tht he was special ....hats off and love vvs...played like a patriot not only for the country for cricket too

  • N. Sridharan on August 20, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Statistics matter in the game of cricket. A run is a run, whether it is scored under difficult conditions from a classy shot, against a first class attack, when your team is on 125 for 8 or a streaky shot against a third class attack when your team has made 650 for 2. Similarly a wicket is a wicket, be it that of a tail ender from Bamgladesh or the victim is Brian Lara. A century scored against Bangladesh with all its main strike bowlers out of action due to injuries, is still a century in the record books. A captain who is a bowler will come to bowl when the opposition's tail is batting to improve his record. A captain can decide not to come in to bat when the conditions are difficult. Laxman was made to play in all positions from opening to number 5 & 6. Many of his great performances have come battling cramps and a back ache, in the company of tail enders. So, the records do not actually reveal his greatness. Only those who have watched his batting know and remember.

  • Xylo on August 20, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Very true. IMHO, the only player of VVS' class in today's cricket is Ian Bell.

  • sorkkam on August 20, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    vvs also good leader for test cricket...but fans will keep him as a leader of test cricket ....all comments are well said it above...

  • anonymous on August 20, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    A very correctly and heartfelt tribute to the Hyderabadi Mama of the Indian Dressing room. He will be missed greatly, by the people who love pure cricket.

  • Raju on August 20, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Nice article. As you said, we are going to miss some one really special. I would not watch test cricket anytime soon bcos we have lost 2 great batsman in Laxman and Dravid. And Sachin is not the same player and it is pain to watch him bat now. I always felt that Laxman had couple of years more left in test cricket than Sachin, who shud have retired by now.

  • Gaurang Merchant on August 20, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Dear Rutvij, you have given a very appropriate and a wonderful tribute to the very very special Laxman a man who always blossemed in crisis and gave our India remarkable victories.We will miss a great cricketer and a true gentleman.

  • Ravi Narala on August 20, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    Very well composed. Good tribute for a deserving cricketer who was not in the spotlight though he performed well. As his initals stand he is Very Very Special indeed.

  • Prasad on August 20, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Fabulous article, class written on every sentence, similar to VVS willow. The grace GODS (VVS, GR, Gower and Mark Waugh) of cricket are so far apart from the rest, it will create a void in test cricket. There are only few batsmen I would pay to watch, VVS is on the top of the list along with GR Vishwanath, these two are rare gems of Indian cricket, who have always put country and team first. Hats off to you VVS, you are special and no one can take that away from you.

  • Janak on August 20, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    We all will be missing this elegant player and state of the art player whom could score abroad more runs and make opponent shiver when he walks out to play. Great write up.

  • rm on August 20, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    very well written - perfect tribute to LAXMAN a master craftsmen of stroke play.

  • cricket-india on August 20, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    well...vvs does not have records that cannot be equalled or broken;what he does have are records that can never be matched.

  • Dr.Basavaraj on August 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    VVS is class... We all and Indian Cricket will miss him....

  • CA. Hemant P. Shah on August 20, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    A tribute to VVS Laxman and his VVS innings of 281 runs (By CA. Hemant P. Shah)

    It seemed all over, The Indians were down and out, Whether they could survive, There was a lot of doubt

    The out came Laxman, With a bat in his hand, The Aussies were blown apart, As if they were sand

    None did he spare, He hammered them all, The Aussies were mystified, He made them look small

    As it turned out, The Indians came out champs, The Indian tiger swallowed, The Aussies little lambs

  • arun on August 20, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Well written. Gratifying to note that there are people who still cherish pure aesthetics, grace and poise at the crease.We havent seen Vishy play, we have known Azharuddin , but he can get awkward and ungainly while facing short-fast stuff. Laxman is in diffrent mould altogether, combine his artistry with his character- he is as rare as they come.

  • Prashanth on August 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Heartfealt, Thanks!!

    The day VVS retired was the day the music died for me. I feel previleged to have seen the quintet (Fab Four) + Anil Kumble doing their thing. I have now officially graduated to the crumudgeonly old uncle, who claims none bettered G.R. Vishwanath/ Alwin Kallicharan/ Basil Butcer/ .

    Thanks for all the memories. Good luck for the future. Do remember that there are a bunch of slightly middle aged, mildly balding folks (early 30's) in whose dreams, they will always take gaurd as one of you or your illustrious colleagues.

    Thanks again

  • Game_Gazer on August 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    what a piece man !! this is the best tribute so far as to what VVS means to lovers of pure-cricket and what we will miss...what a gentleman-CHAMP !!

  • Vinod Iyer on August 20, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Dude Rutvij....very eloquently put, enjoyed your post, as elegant as a VVS wristy flick off the pads... Keep it up...looking forward to many more of such writing from u...."Caressing boundaries in a way that the cherry itself would almost want to come back asking for more made Laxman probably the last bastion of a dying breed"-fabously put, may that breed ever continue...Anwar was legend, so was Mark waugh, lara, gower, nowadays amla-bell, Roy Dias-not so long ago...but looking at the 20/20 diet of flat pitches, shorter boundaries, bigger bats and need to hit maximums....more tequila than classical wine or acid rock than clasical symphony....hope somehow some new batsman takes up the baton...Adios...:)

  • Balaji on August 20, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Very nicely written. I liked the phrase, "far more emphasis placed on the produut rather than the process..." Well done

  • Anonymous on August 20, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Wil miss u vvs

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  • Anonymous on August 20, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Wil miss u vvs

  • Balaji on August 20, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Very nicely written. I liked the phrase, "far more emphasis placed on the produut rather than the process..." Well done

  • Vinod Iyer on August 20, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Dude Rutvij....very eloquently put, enjoyed your post, as elegant as a VVS wristy flick off the pads... Keep it up...looking forward to many more of such writing from u...."Caressing boundaries in a way that the cherry itself would almost want to come back asking for more made Laxman probably the last bastion of a dying breed"-fabously put, may that breed ever continue...Anwar was legend, so was Mark waugh, lara, gower, nowadays amla-bell, Roy Dias-not so long ago...but looking at the 20/20 diet of flat pitches, shorter boundaries, bigger bats and need to hit maximums....more tequila than classical wine or acid rock than clasical symphony....hope somehow some new batsman takes up the baton...Adios...:)

  • Game_Gazer on August 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    what a piece man !! this is the best tribute so far as to what VVS means to lovers of pure-cricket and what we will miss...what a gentleman-CHAMP !!

  • Prashanth on August 20, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Heartfealt, Thanks!!

    The day VVS retired was the day the music died for me. I feel previleged to have seen the quintet (Fab Four) + Anil Kumble doing their thing. I have now officially graduated to the crumudgeonly old uncle, who claims none bettered G.R. Vishwanath/ Alwin Kallicharan/ Basil Butcer/ .

    Thanks for all the memories. Good luck for the future. Do remember that there are a bunch of slightly middle aged, mildly balding folks (early 30's) in whose dreams, they will always take gaurd as one of you or your illustrious colleagues.

    Thanks again

  • arun on August 20, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Well written. Gratifying to note that there are people who still cherish pure aesthetics, grace and poise at the crease.We havent seen Vishy play, we have known Azharuddin , but he can get awkward and ungainly while facing short-fast stuff. Laxman is in diffrent mould altogether, combine his artistry with his character- he is as rare as they come.

  • CA. Hemant P. Shah on August 20, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    A tribute to VVS Laxman and his VVS innings of 281 runs (By CA. Hemant P. Shah)

    It seemed all over, The Indians were down and out, Whether they could survive, There was a lot of doubt

    The out came Laxman, With a bat in his hand, The Aussies were blown apart, As if they were sand

    None did he spare, He hammered them all, The Aussies were mystified, He made them look small

    As it turned out, The Indians came out champs, The Indian tiger swallowed, The Aussies little lambs

  • Dr.Basavaraj on August 20, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    VVS is class... We all and Indian Cricket will miss him....

  • cricket-india on August 20, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    well...vvs does not have records that cannot be equalled or broken;what he does have are records that can never be matched.

  • rm on August 20, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    very well written - perfect tribute to LAXMAN a master craftsmen of stroke play.