India v Australia, 1st Test, Mohali, 5th day

A special innings from Laxman - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 5, 2010

Comments: 157 | Text size: A | A

Contrasting expressions on the faces of Ricky Ponting and VVS Laxman, 1st Test, Mohali, India v Australia, 5th day, October 5, 2010
Contrasting reactions after India's nail-biting win © AFP

MS Dhoni has hailed the duo of VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma for their match-winning stand of 81 that helped India fight back after being reduced to a seemingly hopeless 124 for 8. Laxman played a decisive role in guiding India to a second successive win while chasing, following up his unbeaten century against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval with 73, also undefeated, to seal a one-wicket win and spark off wild celebrations.

"VVS was really remarkable in this match. He helped the team overcome a batting collapse. Laxman remained at the crease, hit boundaries, rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard moving all the time," Dhoni said after the match. "For me, it was a very special innings by Laxman."

Laxman's performance stood out as he played with a sore back, a niggle that forced him to drop down the order in the first innings and bat with a runner in the second. He was supported admirably by Ishant, who scored a determined 31 to revive India's hopes after Australia's seamers had put their team in sight of a win. "Ishant showed good character when the batting collapse took place. It was no doubt a big task. Only two-three batsmen remained and Laxman was on the other end. But they supported Laxman well and that worked for us," Dhoni said. "Our heart rate went up. Nobody could imagine such an ending in four-and-a-half days when the match started."

India's target of 216 was not the most intimidating but Australia's fast bowlers hit back on the fourth evening to limit India to 55 for 4, and continued to make steady inroads on the final day to leave the hosts reeling. Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, rued the unavailability of Doug Bollinger - who had to leave the field with abdominal stiffness - against the lower order. "We failed to take a couple of wickets quickly," he said. "Bollinger's injury probably didn't help us there; we needed a fresh bowler to give it a shake but that's the game.

"Full credit to India; they outplayed us today. We tried our best. It was satisfying effort from the boys. I told them to just take the scorecard out of the mind. The partnership between Ishant and Laxman was great and it made the difference."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (October 9, 2010, 10:35 GMT)

@ Chandru.saf, Sri Lankan team in onthe 3rd place of ICC raking, and if India can beat SA, SL, and Aus (2nd, 3rd, and 4th), I don't think they should beat the ENG to proove they are champion. Because ENG is a way lower on the ranks. So, please stop your non-sense and pay attention on the current situation.

Posted by Hindh on (October 7, 2010, 13:52 GMT)

@chandru what exactly have SAf, eng and aus done after touring so much to India still they r not able to beat india in india..

Posted by karthikfromchennai on (October 7, 2010, 5:07 GMT)

@chandru, are you from the country wheree bowlers sell country for 150000 GBP?

Posted by MartinAmber on (October 6, 2010, 23:32 GMT)

Well, I see Cricinfo are framing this match in Switch Hit as "Can India save Test cricket?" So, the writers haven't learned a thing then. I guess Edgbaston 2008, Chennai 2008-09, the wonderful Aus v SA series of 08-09, Cardiff 09, England playing three other draws in the space of a year with either them or their opponents 9 down in the fourth innings, Sydney 09-10 (assuming all above board), the emergence of Swann, the equalising of the top sides (relative to the previous 15 years), the continued excellence of players with all-time great records, and the disappearance of the man (Lalit Modi) who posed the greatest real threat to Test cricket, have all failed to "save" Test cricket then. For crying out loud, do you not understand how great the last 2-3 years of Test cricket have been?

Posted by karthikfromchennai on (October 6, 2010, 15:12 GMT)

it would have been tough for any team chasing 216 runs on the fourth innings...not many teams would have done it ...But this Indian team is different...they dont give up until the last wicket is down...they fight ...fight and just fight. And this is what separates the no 1 team from the rest.

Posted by kumarcoolbuddy on (October 6, 2010, 15:07 GMT)

Good performance from Laxman, Zaheer, Ishant, Sachin and Dhoni (for his captaincy, dont' foerget that India is on winning streak under his captaincy). Only reason why Laxman should have been given MOM is he is winning player and still not out at crucial time and by the way he performed at that stage he could have chased the target even if Zaheer khan had not performed so well. And don't forget that he was playing with back problem.

Posted by boltfromheaven on (October 6, 2010, 13:16 GMT)

One cannot help but feel that in all euphoria there are some dark clouds.It's the Tendulkars, Dravids and Laxmans who bail us out. Time and again. Australia have bitten the bullet and are building a new, young team under a tough captain. We have a splendid team full of superb veterans led by a captain who seems to be half asleep at the wheel. Sehwag, for all his swagger, does not inspire the confidence of a Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman. Ishant is a class act and you get the feeling that he is a worthy successor to Prasad, Srinath and Zaheer. The others? Where on earth are the youngsters? Unlike the country at large, the national test team does not have a demographic dividend to reap.

Posted by Hindh on (October 6, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

@romail ali Hey dude just becoz pak fixes the matches does not mean that every other team in the world does the same... get a life man........

Posted by chandru.saf on (October 6, 2010, 12:57 GMT)

I dont know whats wrong with ICC. ICC has named "DHONI" as best test captain. What has he done so far. Never ever comes to bat, whenver the situation is tough.

I don't know... India keep playing sri lanka and improve their rankings. ICC should plan away series consecutive for India against SA, Eng, Aus. then see what this stupid indian team does,

Posted by nair_ottappalam on (October 6, 2010, 12:47 GMT)

@JigneshPatel_007 :- I watch TV only after I reach home say after 8.30 pm. However, I never miss the highlights of any cricket match irrespective of whether India is playing or not. Coming back to your point, it is seen that more often than not most of the cricket fans are blindly supporting Sachin. He is as much as a human being as everyone of us are and are bound to make mistakes. His mistakes are often gone unnoticed. That is the point I wished to bring to your notice. After all what matters the most is India won the match despite all odds. After reaching 8/124 even the most optimistic amongst wouldn't have thought that India would win. But thats Laxman, ably supported this time by Ishant. The most unfortunate thing is that both of them wont be playing the second test. I think that Australia made a wrong choice by not including Steve Smith in thier playing XI. Hauritz was a blunder. Even Katich and Clarke would have bowled better than Hauritz

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