India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 4th day October 4, 2010

Laxman will bat if needed - Ishant

ESPNcricinfo staff

VVS Laxman, down with back spasms, is expected to bat on the final day of the Test should he be needed, Ishant Sharma said at the end of the fourth day's play. Laxman got the spasms before India's first innings, and came out to bat with a runner, at No. 10. He didn't field in Australia's second innings but, because the No. 6 batsman is already in, Laxman can theoretically walk out at the fall of the next wicket.

India are four down for 55, and need 161 more going into the final day. They will start the day with nightwatchman Zaheer Khan batting with Sachin Tendulkar, who is unbeaten on 10.

This is the second time Laxman has had back spasms in two Tests. He batted in pain to score a match-winning century at the P Sara Oval. "It was painful," Laxman had said then of that effort. "I started my innings well, but during the partnership [with Sachin Tendulkar] I had a lot of discomfort and the spasms didn't allow me to move freely. Once I was into my 30s it became very painful... I was in such pain that I thought that the best decision in team's interest was to have a runner instead of just giving away the wicket due to pain."