VVS Laxman career timeline August 18, 2012

A very, very special career

ESPNcricinfo staff

Let the games begin: With his 167 in Sydney in 2000, Laxman began his magic in Tests against Australia © Getty Images

February-March, 1994
An early taste for Australia
In his first outing with the India Under-19s, he averages 110.25 in three Tests against the visiting Australian U-19 team, which includes Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds

November 22, 1996
A promising beginning
On his Test debut, against South Africa in Ahmedabad, he makes a composed 51 in the second innings - one of only two half-centuries in the match - to set up India's victory in a low-scoring game

March 6, 1997
Top order, but not top form
India's impregnable middle-order means Laxman has to play as an opener to remain in the side. On his first assignment in the West Indies, he has a torrid time and is dropped by the end of the series

Ranji Trophy 1999-2000
A domestic giant
Still being shunted in and out of the Indian side, he makes his case with a staggering 1415 runs in the Ranji Trophy, the most ever in a single season

January 4, 2000
Let me entertain you
The knock that proves his international credentials. At the end of a wretched Test series for him and India, he strokes a majestic 167 off 198 balls against Australia in Sydney, his first Test century

March 13-15, 2001
Very, very special
The defining innings. Steve Waugh's Australians were relentlessly marching towards conquering the "Final Frontier" with a 274-run first innings lead in the second Test in Kolkata. His epic 281 leads an astonishing recovery and India sneak to victory by 171 runs

November 2-3, 2002
Kolkata love affair continues
With nearly five sessions to play, India are four wickets down in the second innings and still trailing by 53 runs against West Indies in Kokata. He puts on a combative 214 with Sachin Tendulkar to take India to safety

December 2003-January 2004
Another dose of trouble for Australia
Spoils Steve Waugh's farewell Test series. A backs-to-the-wall 303-run stand with Rahul Dravid sets up the famous victory in Adelaide before a dazzling 178 in Sydney and a triple-century partnership with Sachin Tendulkar gives India a chance to seal the series

November 5, 2004
Negotiating a Mumbai minefield
On an astonishing day when twenty wickets fell, on a dustbowl that Ricky Ponting called "nowhere near to being Test standard", he scripts a doughty 69 that paved the way for a consolation victory in Mumbai

January 3, 2008
I love Sydney
India's batting, which had struggled in the first Test, finally gets going in the controversial second Test in Sydney with a silken century from Laxman, who along with Sachin Tendulkar puts India back in the contest

October 29-30, 2008
Delhi demolition
He torments Australia again with his second double-century in Tests, which helps India amass 613 in Delhi and puts them on their way to reclaiming the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

February 2010
Another Eden showcase
Laxman does his bit, scoring an unbeaten 143, as India pile up 643 against South Africa to inflict a series-levelling, innings defeat on the visitors - one that was sealed in thrilling fashion with nine mandatory balls to spare

August 2010
Fourth-innings perfect
With India struggling at 62 for 4, chasing 257 to level the series against Sri Lanka, Laxman knocks off 103 unbeaten runs and takes India home with Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina for company

December 2010
South African stunner
On a green Durban track, Laxman puts together one of the most memorable non-century innings: in the second gig, with the other batsmen tentative and India in danger of giving away the advantage they had gained, Laxman crafts 96 to set South Africa a target that is beyond their reach

November 2011
Kolkata, again
If it's Test cricket at Eden Gardens, it must be VVS Laxman. He hits 176 not out to help India on their way to an innings victory against West Indies

January 2012
A rare Australia failure
After all that success against Australia, Laxman fails to make an impression on India's 2011-12 tour there; he crosses 50 only once in four Tests. The series culminates in India's eighth straight away Test loss, leaving several questioning whether this is the end for Laxman and other senior India batsmen

August 18 2012
Laxman exits international cricket
At an emotional press conference in Hyderabad, ahead of the home series against New Zealand, VVS Laxman calls time on his international career with immediate effect