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VVS Laxman

'I've saved my best for the best'

One of the stalwarts of India's batting talks about playing Australia, being a match-winner, and rediscovering the middle order

Interview by Greg Lansdowne

November 3, 2009

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

VVS Laxman shows a straight bat, Wellington, April 2, 2009
"I would give up anything to represent my country" © AFP
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Players/Officials: VVS Laxman
Teams: India | Lancashire

Not that anything will top Kolkata 2001, but for the Lancashire faithful VVS Laxman's 113 in the final Championship match of the 2009 season was Very Very Special. Needing victory to be certain of avoiding the drop, the Red Rose county had slipped to 45 for 3 after dismissing Warwickshire for 148. By the time their Indian overseas player left the crease the score had moved on to 282 for 6 and the home fans at Old Trafford could breathe more easily.

Yet that was only half the story, as Laxman injured his back while batting towards the end of day one, eventually deciding to call upon the use of a runner on day two after suffering a spasm while running. There was no chance of this particular batsman retiring hurt, however, as he battled his way to 113 before departing the scene - survival all but secured.

Once again VVS proved that cometh the hour, cometh the Laxman. He spoke to Big Hitter during his county summer about his career so far and a few remaining ambitions.

Your early Test career started as an opening batsman - do you have regrets that you could have established yourself much earlier in your favoured middle-order position or were you just pleased to be picked anywhere at that stage?
Actually I started off my [Test] career as a middle-order batsman because I got my first opportunity to bat at No. 6 when Sourav [Ganguly] was injured. So the first four Tests I played were in the middle order at No. 6 or 7. But the middle order was very packed with experienced players in Sachin [Tendulkar] and [Mohammad] Azharuddin and then you had Rahul [Dravid] and Sourav who had done well in the matches they'd played. So I got an opportunity as an opening batsman and took it as a challenge because right from my childhood I'd always been taught that you have to do whatever the team requires. I thought, "The team requires me to open and I've got an opportunity to play for my country," which is a dream for all of us, so I took it up as a challenge.

It was a tough phase for me - the first four years from 1996 to almost 2000. Not because of the cricket but it was just that I used to get runs, then two or three failures, and then people used to brand me as a non-regular opener. It really hurt me because I was trying my best to do well for the country as an opener, even though it didn't come naturally. That was when I decided that I would not open anymore for the team because the ultimate aim is to score consistently, and to do that you have to be a regular member of the side. I decided that the best chance for me to do well for the country was in the middle order, so I took that decision, and luckily for me, once I took that decision, I got a lot of runs in first-class cricket. I got 10 or 11 hundreds on the trot, and I then got my chance in the middle order [for India] and I grasped it.

When you made the decision not to open anymore did you accept you might not get an opportunity for India again, or at least for a long time, if the players in the side all scored consistently?
Absolutely. That was a factor that was definitely there in my mind. But the decision was taken after the South Africa Test match in Bombay when I was dropped. In the previous Test in Sydney against Australia I got 167. After the next Test - I didn't get many - I was left out of the side and that's when I decided. Luckily for me, my coaches and my uncle helped me in making the decision because I was not enjoying what I was doing. You want to be a regular member of the squad. It really is disappointing and discouraging when you are dropped frequently and then again being branded as a non-regular opener. It was a tough call because there was a risk that I wouldn't get an[other] opportunity.

And I remember once I made the decision, Sourav was the captain and we played a Test match against Bangladesh in 2000. We played with five bowlers and Sourav asked me to open, because he wanted me to play in the XI, but I told him that I wasn't keen to open, so I was dropped for that Test match and also two Tests against Zimbabwe. But I stuck to my decision because of what had happened over the first four years [of my international career]. By God's grace everything went well with me getting consecutive hundreds [at first-class level] and then getting an opportunity in the middle order and then establishing myself.

You always did excellently against Australia when they were the leading Test nation by a distance. When you retire do you feel your legacy will be that you were able to perform against the best of the time?
Definitely. Most of my hundreds came against them. What I would most like to be remembered as is a match-winner. Not only against Australia, I played match-winning knocks against other countries like New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan. But I do think my best performances came against Australia, which was a satisfying thing because they were the best side in world cricket and had the best bowling attack.

Getting runs consistently against them - not just in one series but probably four or five series that I'd been involved against them - is definitely a great feeling. But the most important thing for me that has given me a lot of satisfaction is that I was able to play match-winning knocks - especially under pressure situations. Whenever the team was under pressure I came out and played knocks that helped to bail the team out of the situation and win the game for the team.

 
 
"Post the 281, post the Calcutta Test, the team has done really well - not only in India but overseas and we take a lot of pride in that and we took a lot of confidence from that Test match in the sense that irrespective of the situation we are in in a Test match, we can bounce back"
 

No matter what you achieve in the remainder of your career you are likely to be chiefly remembered for your 281 against Australia in Calcutta - does a day ever go by when you aren't asked about it?
Yes, people definitely remember that because it was one of the best Test matches that I have been involved in - in fact the whole series, because it was so intense. The Australian team were on a run - they'd mentioned before coming to India that it was the "Final Frontier". The whole series was so intense that in every session the game shifted from one team to the other.

Obviously the situation when I went in to bat in Calcutta was quite a tough one, so bailing the team out of that means people will remember that knock, and it gives a lot of satisfaction to me and the entire team because post the 281, post the Calcutta Test, the team has done really well - not only in India but overseas, and we take a lot of pride in that and we took a lot of confidence from that Test match in the sense that irrespective of the situation we are in in a Test match, we can bounce back. And I think that has happened three or four times since, when we have been in similar situations but fought back. So I think the Calcutta innings and Calcutta match gave a lot of confidence and changed the mindset of the Indian team.

Did that innings of 281 become a millstone for you for a while with people expecting you to produce that kind of performance on a regular basis?
It's natural and that's why you play for your country - people expect you to get big runs and especially someone like me who has got a lot of big hundreds in first-class cricket. Before my 281, in the previous domestic season I had got a triple-hundred and two double-hundreds. So people expect me to play such knocks, and I'm happy that I've done so - if not to the magnitude of 281, in other similar situations. It's not the [amount of] runs but bailing the team out of tough situations. That gives me a lot of encouragement, confidence and satisfaction.

We've mentioned your pride at succeeding against Australia but would you say playing, and doing well, against Pakistan is even more special due to the rivalry between the nations?
The 2004 series was very intense because we were playing Pakistan after a long time. In fact, that was my first Test against Pakistan in years because I last remember playing them [before that] in 1999. Whenever we play Pakistan the pressure is a lot more because the spectators and the public from both countries expect their team to win. Both are very passionate about the game. So there are a lot of expectations, but having said that, it always remains special playing against Australia and our cricket has always gone to the next level whenever we've played against Australia because when you play against a top side like them, you have to be at your best or probably better than your best.

We were able to do that whenever we played, and in fact during that era with Steve Waugh and the so-called Invincibles it was always the Indian team that challenged them [most], so we take a lot of pride in what we have done against them.

On to one-day cricket: do you resent the fact that critics say you are not suited to that format due to a perceived slowness in running between the wickets and when fielding?
Yes, definitely. I was not the quickest fielder in the Indian team, but a safe fielder. Having said that, in whatever opportunities I got - I played 80-odd one-dayers - I was able to contribute and play some match-winning knocks for the team. I was disappointed that I didn't play more one-dayers for the country.


Ricky Ponting congratulates VVS Laxman on his double-century, India v Australia, 3rd Test, Delhi, 2nd day, October 30, 2008
"I do think my best performances came against Australia, which was satisfying because they were the best side in world cricket" © AFP
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It's been a long time since you've played, but can you see any circumstances where you could make a return to the Indian ODI team?
No, not at all. I'm focusing totally now on Test-match cricket, and I think the Indian team is moving forward where there are a lot of youngsters who have come up and done well in the one-day format, and that's the way to progress.

Do you see that you seem to be the exception that proves the rule at the moment, where several players have given up Test cricket to concentrate on ODI cricket, whereas you've gone the other way?
For me, representing the country is a great moment and I would give up anything to represent my country. Test-match cricket is really special to me because as a kid I always dreamt of playing for India in Test matches. I take a lot of pride in representing the country and always will do.

In terms of Test cricket you were the eighth Indian to reach 100 Test appearances. What did it mean to you to be among those legends?
It was a great feeling because representing India in even one Test match is a dream for any youngster in the country, so doing so 100 times was very satisfying. It also shows that I have performed consistently over a period of time - which was a very pleasing moment for me. I've been involved in an era where we've played a lot of one-dayers as well as Test matches and I'm quite satisfied that I've performed consistently over a period of 10-12 years, and the result is representing [the country] for more than 100 Test matches. It's definitely a great feeling to be in the same bracket as some of the greats who have represented the country in the past.

Sunil Gavaskar was the Indian batting hero when you were growing up - was he someone you admired?
As a kid I always used to look up to Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev because they were the true match-winners for the country while we were growing up. I think we all learned from watching Sunil because he was so perfect in technique, and most importantly he was a run machine for the country. And he got runs consistently against all the countries - including 13 hundreds against West Indies, which was a great feat in itself - so I think all the cricketers of our generation grew up watching Sunil Gavaskar play. It was a great moment for me meeting him in person and interacting with him over so many years while I've been playing for the country. He used to be there to help the lads from the Indian team - especially when we were travelling overseas. We took a lot of advice and guidance from him. So he's been a great help to the entire Indian team and he's been the role model for a lot of kids in our generation.

Do you have any particular goals you still want to achieve in your Test career?
I have personal goals but the most important goal for me is being part of a team that becomes the No. 1 Test-playing nation. We are very close to that at the moment and the dream of the Indian team is to become the best Test-playing nation. If I can be there when we achieve that, I'll be really happy. So that's my [main] goal and I want to perform consistently and play some knocks which will help us to achieve that target.

Do you have a date in mind to retire or is it a case of you'll know when it's time when it comes?
Exactly. I'm still enjoying my cricket at the moment and have hunger to do well for my country, or wherever I'm playing, and the desire is still there, so I've not really thought about retirement at the moment. I'm only 34.

The full interview appears in issue three of Big Hitter, the ultimate Asian cricket magazine, which is available at newsagents in the UK. It can be downloaded here, November 6 onwards

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by imirfan on (November 5, 2009, 8:24 GMT)

I think Laxman deserves all of the praise. He is a world class batsman.But can some body tell me why Sehwag is so over rated?

Posted by Rahul_78 on (November 5, 2009, 7:29 GMT)

@ spinkingKK, Sir in India we are emotional fools when it comes to cricket. But why not when we have gems like sachin, VVS and rahul playing for us. Cricket was never more sacred when ausies bowled in that 2001 series and rahul and vvs defied all odds to win the most memorable test of all time. Each and every delivery was a pure drama and we are certainly proud to be emotional fools feeding on that. No shame in it indeed.

Posted by swanonsong on (November 5, 2009, 2:37 GMT)

An absoulute gem of a player! VVS has been always special to me since he got 90 odd opening against the windies in WI & after watching that superb 167 in Sydney. I remember telling some people during that match in '01 that VVS would get a double and Dravid a ton - to have that come true was the most amazing (especially after listening to Harsha Bhogle bagging VVS as a domestic wonder and failing internationally and thus symbolizing the irrelevance of domestic performances) feeling. And to have been on the ground when these 2 guys repeated the performance in Adelaide in '03 (when David Lord smirked on ABC, that the Indians still think they can win) is enough for a lifetime.

Posted by sriramganapathi on (November 5, 2009, 2:08 GMT)

one of the few stylists left in the game today, VVS is my all time favourite batsman. just love to watch him play - the basic essence in cricket watching. the fact that he has hit only 4 sixes (also by compulsion due to peer pressure i would imagine) while still maintaining a healthy strike rate is evidence for positive elegant test batting. May your pride increase VVS !

Posted by join on (November 4, 2009, 23:00 GMT)

VVS is indeed good, but could have done a hell of a lot more. He is like Flintoff who plays well against Aus(very well, in fact:), the 281 cant be matched), but struggles against other nations. A great talent, no doubt, but could have accomplished a lot more, if it werent for other great player or politics+Dhoni keeping him outta ODI side

Posted by AyrtonS on (November 4, 2009, 22:31 GMT)

VVS is probably one of the best test Cricketers in the history of the game. He is what the game is all about, with his impeccable timimg and sweet shots that he plays. It is really unfortunate that this new generation of fans have no clue what real cricket is all about and seem so interested in this new style of lash and dash cricket. Thank you VVS for all of the past wonderful memories, hopefully there is still a lot more to come.

Posted by suGuha on (November 4, 2009, 14:20 GMT)

A person of Laxman's caliber, technique and temperment has no reason to prove to distractors of his worth. He has already made his mark and will be remembered. He should just continue playing his elegance style and inspire youngsters to emulate him in these days of eroding technique. I always enjoy watching Laxman play even if he scores moderately.

Posted by spinkingKK on (November 4, 2009, 13:23 GMT)

Only time the tears came automatically in my eyes when watching a test match was in Kolkatta 2001. I remember Aussie commentators making fun of India's culture by asking one of the Indian cricket chief whether Ganesh is going to save India in that match. The chief (I can't remember who it was) replied, "we have two Ganesh's batting in the middle and we will see how we go". At the same time, I was praying for VVS to score a century because his position was in danger leading to that match. He was out to a wrong decision in the first innings and he was playing very well in all the previous innings' in the series but was getting out. I thought that I will stop watching Indian playing if they drop VVS one more time. Then came this innings. For each fifties he got, my heart was praying for the next fifty. Fifties he got! in plenty, and the most improbable win for India. It reminded me of watching India drawing level with Germany in a hockey match by scoring 5 goals in last 5 minutes.

Posted by YGSR on (November 4, 2009, 13:06 GMT)

VVS Laxman should get a chance to lead India in tests. Significantly, he is one of the very few players who despite having played over 100 tests did not get a chance to lead the national side. With due respect to their abilities, players like Srikkanth (our current chairman of selectors) and Ravi Shastri can always look back and say they have led India which feeling VVS Laxman also deserves.

May be in the series against Bangladesh he could officially lead India in tests.

Posted by CricIndian9 on (November 4, 2009, 6:05 GMT)

One of the best cricketer My Country has ever produced, one of the most perfect gentlemen My Game has ever seen, VVS Laxman is someone who makes batting look like a soothing, romantic melody that absorbs you in itself so deeply that you forget the thousands of issude surrounding your life. Those wrists work like the mysterious wand of a magician, easing the ball delicately and yet not even a hare can attempt to stop it from racing away to the fence... aahh!! the poetry just flows when i think of VVS's batting. He is one of my five idols i've grown up worshipping... He makes batting look so divine!!! As cliche as it may sound, its just only perfect to describe VVS as a VERY VERY SPECIAL Cricketer!!!!!

Posted by HLANGL on (November 4, 2009, 5:34 GMT)

A rare tallent & belongs to the category of players whose 40+ average don't do full justice to their tallent. Aravinda De Silva, Sanath Jayasuriya, Wishwanath, Sahir Abbas, Michael Slater, Saeed Anwar, Mark Waugh to name a few, each had a different style yet all of them were very special in their own right. VVS Laxman has played some monumental knocks for India & was instrumental in making India competitive with the best team around that time, Australia. He should be remembered for the impact he made, was as every bit as important as Tendulkar & Dravid for India in tests.

Posted by cricPassion2009 on (November 4, 2009, 5:01 GMT)

Alas, we don't see VVSL in ODI. He's not in ODI due to his sluggish outfielding and running between wickets ( not that other folks in Indian team are great fielders ;) )

On the other hand, this may have helped him keep his magic going in tests.

Posted by cricPassion2009 on (November 4, 2009, 4:46 GMT)

Very affable and decent guy. And his batting, very very special indeed. Reminds us of the majesty of Azhar and Vishy, that's saying a lot. The bat is like a painting brush for these great batsmen. A great characteristic of VVSL is that he stays cool under pressure and delivers, and wins tremendous respect from opponent teams.

Posted by jayray999 on (November 4, 2009, 1:28 GMT)

VVS Laxman is proof that nice guys with talent and determination need might have to struggle, but they need not come last. At many points in his career VVS was treated disgracefully by the Indian management but he never lashed out at them and from all available evidence harbors no ill will. During the inaugural IPL season he got a raw deal. Initially he was not accorded icon status by the BCCI. When it was offered as an afterthought he voluntarily declined it to help his team (the Deccan Chargers) sign up both Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds. Yet, when these (and other) worthies failed to deliver it was Laxman's head (as captain) that was on the chopping block. He gave up the captaincy with dignity but had to put up with indignities reported in the local and national media. Again I never heard about a retaliatory outburst from VVS. Bear in mind that all this happened in a tournament whose raison d'etre is personal enrichment. VVS, for these and 6741 other reasons I salute thee.

Posted by fnm500 on (November 3, 2009, 22:16 GMT)

VVS is and always has been my favourite of the big 4. I am indebted to him and Bhajji forever for Calcutta '01.I was going through a tough time in my life at that time. I was abroad, in a strange country and heart broken. I saw the match on the Internet. I skipped work on the day VVS and Dravid forged that great partnership. The next day I dragged myself to the office. I kept checking the score all day long and couldn't get any work done. When we finally won, I was so happy I was shouting and screaming with joy and the whole office could hear me. It was a Very Very Special moment of my life. Thanks to VVS Laxman. I will never forget it. Such a pity that don't play enough test cricket. All we get to see these days are players like Kohli, Raina and Yousuf Pathan.These guys can't hold a candle to the greatness that is VVS.

Posted by chinnamama on (November 3, 2009, 21:14 GMT)

adding on my previous article it was such a pity that he was made a scapegoat for the failure in the series on New Zealand in early 2003 and was eventually dropped from the World Cup team in favour of Dinesh Mongia of whom i was never a big fan Laxman always didnt get enough respect as a ODI player though he played some match wining innigs

Posted by chinnamama on (November 3, 2009, 21:11 GMT)

VVS is truly the modern day artist who's shots are just so elegant to watch,his wirsty playing style is just magic just like Azhar bhai. who can forget his 281 the best ever innings i have ever watched by an Indian i have been following test cricket since 1996 and this innings is the best of all Laxman scored centuries and centuries and centuries in domestic cricket tht y he again got a chance to play in the Indian middle order he should be an inspiran to all the Rohit Sharma's who have the talent but unfortunately have failed so far when the chances have been given your beloved fan will definately pay anytime to watch an innings of Very very Special Laxman

Posted by krik8crazy on (November 3, 2009, 19:16 GMT)

That 281 is the best innings by an Indian batsman in the modern era(post Gavaskar). It instilled self belief and much needed backbone in the Indian team. Till that time Indian batsmen used to play pretty innings but lose when faced with adversity. After that innings the team has fought back in many, many tough situations. Steel under velvet is probably a good description of Laxman. He thrives when there is a crisis. He bats like a millionaire where other batsmen struggle like paupers. He can play 3 different shots to the same ball and send it to the boundary all 3 times. His batting can uplift viewers and team mates alike. Opponents hate to be on the other side when he bats but they still admire him for his skillful batting. His contribution to the team is not just in terms of runs scored but in the way he inspired his team mates to lift their game. VVS is a legend. His humility, self belief, courage under fire, and effortless batting will be remembered by cricket fans forever.

Posted by MKrishna on (November 3, 2009, 17:20 GMT)

What a player he is...!!!!!! His stroke making is effortless. His style is unique. He always fights till the end in his unique style. Perhaps VVS is the only Indian player who never surrenders to the opposition. He is a gem of a player & a down to Earth human. He was treated horribly by the selectors who dropped him from WC 03 & WC 07 when he was in prime form. But still he is down to Earth. Thats why he is such a stupendous human. My salutes to you Laxman...Great going VVS.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 3, 2009, 15:42 GMT)

Any talk on Laxman has to veer on to the epic at Eden Gardens, against the then unbeatable Australians under Steve Waugh in 2001. They were really good with Magrath, Gillespiee, Kasprovich and Warne at their very best.They had humbled every other team in the world and were indeed the World Champions home and away. Since Waugh had called this tour to India the last frontier, when we got beaten in Bombay in the first Test, most people felt that Waugh and his band were indeed on their way to conquering it.At the Eden too the Australians looked in a different class till and innings and a half. In the first innings, it did seem though that Laxman was just coming into his own when he scored an unbeaten 50 odd. Then the follow on. I gave up watching when we were 4 wickets down when Dravid and Laxman got together.After that what I saw was like something I had never got to see in all my years of following cricket. An Indian fightback which changed the mindset of the Indian cricketer forever.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (November 3, 2009, 13:34 GMT)

Laxman has always been truly special. I had been following his rise with great interest because he resembled Azhar so much.He seemed very calm and unruffled against quality bowling, fast or spin. I always felt that if there was one shortcoming in Azhar it was that he was a bit suspect against short pitched bowling. Laxman was not.In fact such was the quality of his back foot play that he almost dared bowlers to pitch short in his silent and undemonstrative manner.When we talk of great batsmen, we often tend to get carried away by terms like class when one is flashy. One aspect, which I believe is very very important is the ability of a batsman to make big scores because it is indicative of the level of concentration that a batsman can bring to play in his innings. When one looks at great batsmen of the past, one can see that Bradman,Hammond,Hutton Compton, Sobers,Gavaskar, Richards and Lara all had it. VVS was one such. Once he got in he was in the league mentioned above.

Posted by balakrish74 on (November 3, 2009, 13:17 GMT)

The Very Very Sane decision by V.V.S.Laxman by refusing to open the innings is why he still continues to represent the country now.Otherwise we would not have seen that gem of an innings from him against Australia.Many middle order batsmen were forced to open the innings just to get into the playing XI which proved detrimental to their careers.I remember middle order batsmen like T.E.Sreenivasan and W.V.Raman, both middle order batsmen who were converted into opening batsmen and did not click.Ofcourse there are exceptions like sachin and sehwag who enjoy opening the innings for India.Opening the batting is a specialist job and unless one is comfortable with the idea he should not be forced to open.

I congratulate Laxman for having the guts to refuse to open the innings.It was a very bold step.That decision is really the turning point in his career.I wish Laxman many more years of test cricket.It is also great to hear that he proposes to set up an academy after his retirement.

Posted by passionate_cricket_follower on (November 3, 2009, 13:07 GMT)

Ah so you have given up hopes for a ODI return. But I haven't. I want to see you play in a WC and win it for India. We badly missed you in WC 03 and 07. I don't really know what the selectors had in their minds! Please don't disappoint me, and do come back in the ODI side soon. Great going VVS!

Posted by Nipun on (November 3, 2009, 13:07 GMT)

Why do the Indians always talk about his retirement ? Cricket needs artists like Laxman,Tendulkar,& Dravid as long as possible.I am just sick of reading & hearing about such retirement talks.Indian people have forced Sourav & Anil to retire prematurely;enough is enough & please don't do the same with these greats & geniuses.

Posted by Sidhanta-Patnaik on (November 3, 2009, 12:51 GMT)

Always a pleasure to hear VVS speak. In his words one can feel the sweetness of his timing.

Posted by lefthand on (November 3, 2009, 11:49 GMT)

Great interview of a great batsman.

I was one of the 100,000 who saw THAT game at Eden Gardens, and was there for all 5 days. If you think watching the tapes on the TV or the internet is something, well, its hard to put into words the frenzy VVS put us in on the days he batted. Eden has had a love-hate relation with the Hyderabadi boys Azhar and VVS, and if I remember correctly, there was a headline in Kolkata's regional papers "Maa Kaali'r Trimurti- Sourob, Sachin aar VVS bachiyenebe" (three sons of Goddess Kali- Saurav, Sachin and VVS would save the country). I remember walking into Oberoi's and seeing him having an intense chat with some gentleman over coffee (the rest of the team was staying at Taj Bengal)... I waved at him from a distance, and in midst of the chat he obliged with a genuine smile. This was the night before he created magic. Feels like yesterday!

Hope and wish he still has 3-4 years of Test Cricket left in him. Who knows, his best might still be yet-to-come!

Posted by Ribs on (November 3, 2009, 10:48 GMT)

I am one of the greatest fan of Very Very Speacial Laxman. Whenever he played wristy on drive it looks very simple. May be he would have been spend 1000 and 1000 hrs to play the shot that much perfection. His 169 against Australia in Australia is the best. The condition was very bad except VVS no one has scored runs on that test. Dravid and Laxman having one similar that their match winning knocks were over shadowed by Sachin. It is not fair that he has not played so many onedayers for India. If Sachin playilng till now (eventhough he is not a good fielder) why Laxman not playing one dayers.

Posted by bala_krithu on (November 3, 2009, 9:14 GMT)

He is definitely a virtuoso with the bat. In the era of cow shots, dilscoop, switch hits and reverse sweep, it is definitely refreshing to see someone wield the willow like a musician wields his instrument, caressing the ball like a romantic, finesse always to the fore whethr in defence or attack, aesthetics thy name is VVS.

It is always a master class when he is there but unfortunately these are for the connoisseurs only, the masses only gloat over the numbers and eulogise brashness and conveniently forgets this virtuoso in all the chaos they are now subjected to.

We will always cherish you, Sir. After Vishy, only you have caught our imagination with the the willow. Pls note this is a huge compliment since matching anyone with Vishy is taboo.

Posted by brlara on (November 3, 2009, 8:24 GMT)

VVS Laxman is indeed a Very Very Special Laxman. He is so unfortunate to get caught up in the era of Rahul Dravid. Else he would already have 10,000 to 11,000 runs with more than 6 or 7 double hundreds,, few triple hundreds,, 30 test hundreds etc.,. His test record is still good but would have been great if he get a chance to play in at no.3 consistently for India. what a player,, Can any one bet that this batman's wristy stroke play like that of Carl hooper, Mark Waugh , Mohammed Azharuddin will be forgotten by any cricket lovers ?? A feast to watch, Not only the indians but all the cricket lovers in the world love Laxman's wristy stroke and we all wish you to play more test matches to keep us entertaining. May God give you an injury free career where you play cricket as long as you can. Long live VVS.

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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff

Dhoni's evolved wicketkeeping

Plays of the day from the 4th ODI between England and India at Edgbaston

England World Cup plans in ruins

England's World Cup plans are in ruins after another trouncing from India at Edgbaston and Alastair Cook's presence in the side is impossible to justify

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