August 8, 2010

A batsman of imagery and imagination

When Laxman takes the stage in his moment, he can conjure up the illusion that the crisis is not being tackled, it is being ignored
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Never mind what he can do to his team's fortunes. This is a man who can make prime ministers run.

Sighted around the back of the pavilion at the 2004 Sydney Test, John Howard, then premier of Australia, suddenly broke into a trot, and his six bodyguards instantly switched to light-jog mode. A few minutes after the PA system had announced that the new man in was the one he referred to as "Laksmin", Howard made his way through a strolling, slightly puzzled crowd and towards his box seat. Affairs of state were going to have to wait.

If anything about Indian cricket could make Howard crack a smile today, it would have to be the news that VVS Laxman had steered the Indians through a nervy run-chase and levelled the Test series against Sri Lanka.

If anything about Indian cricket, its hiccuping batting and revolving-door bowling attack, could spark optimism again, it belonged to their No. 5 troubleshooter's troubleshooter of an innings.

That the 103 not out is his first fourth-innings hundred is merely a daunting thought, not a reflection of the man's ability in crisis.

Laxman is India's stylist in strife. Batting mostly at No. 6 has caused him to often arrive when four wickets are gone with a queasy score on the board, or when he has had to gee up the pace to beef up the innings or lead mop-up operations with the tail. Yet, regardless of requirement and demand, Laxman has always been generous with his gifts. When he bats, he allows the most hardboiled to get in touch with their soft centre. It is why prime ministers begin running.

When asked during an ODI series to pick a tune to mark his arrival at the crease, Laxman chose Robbie Williams' "Let Me Entertain You". At his most fluent, his batting makes the pragmatic burst into song. The P Sara hundred was one example of his varied range. He may be best known for the operatic, epic-like innings but often even a short burst of stanzas is more than adequate.

At a 2001 Test in Bloemfontein, after Laxman scored a thirty, his coach of the time, John Wright, usually not given to overstatement, told him it was the best thirty he had ever seen. As India chased 230 in Adelaide, looking for their first Test win in Australia in two decades, the departure of Tendulkar and Ganguly within 21 runs led to a slight tremor of an implosion. Laxman arrived, creamed three boundaries in his first full over, and put up 51 runs with Rahul Dravid at 4.5 an over. When he was out, India were within single digits of their target. When the ODI series for ages had to be won in Pakistan, he scored 107 in the Lahore decider through a veil of moths.

No matter how dire the situation - and he has been on duty on some very dire days - when Laxman takes the stage in his moment, he can conjure up the illusion that the crisis is not being tackled, it is being ignored. That fretting over it is all quite trivial. Like a genteel sorcerer pulling streams of silk out of a hat, his hands create gaps in the field that captains and bowlers cannot conceptualise, let alone attempt to cover.

At his most fluent, his batting makes the pragmatic burst into song. He may be best known for the operatic, epic-like innings but often even a short burst of stanzas is more than adequate

Laxman can speak of his hardship eloquently, be it the spasms in his back or selectoral brutality, but strides to the crease without strain. At the other end, men may be flailing, drowning; Laxman bats as if he were not merely in another game but another era, when cricketers wore cravats and sledging was some manner of winter sport.

Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, Laxman's friend, colleague and competitor, tells a story about bowling to him in the nets. After Laxman languidly dispatched Kartik to an unexpected corner, he would put up his hand and apologise to the bowler in chaste Hyderabadi Hindi, "Hona bol ke maara". Roughly translated, he was saying he had just needed to try out the shot, its affront was really not personal. His batsmanship may be termed "attacking" but Laxman's cricket contains no offence.

If anything, his strokes have often blinded the significance of his achievement and his numbers due to their sheer light. Except Two Eighty One, of course, which will surely turn up in his genome. In his 30s, Laxman has clocked over the numbers with digital precision. In his last 20 Tests, he has scored 12 fifties and four centuries. In his last 13 Tests, from No. 101 versus England in Chennai to P Sara's No. 113, he has produced three hundreds and eight fifties. During the gloom in Galle, he climbed ahead of Sourav Ganguly on the list of all-time Indian Test batsmen. Today he is slotted in at No. 4, behind Tendulkar, Dravid and Gavaskar. The stature will sit on him like the white shirt sits does on his stork-like, angled frame - with the pure poise of ease.

The youngest among India's retreating golden generation of middle-order batsmen, he could leave cricket without any monumental record. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Graeme Smith, Mohammad Yousuf and Kumara Sangakkara have more hundreds, three of them in far fewer Tests. It does not matter. His will never be a career in numbers, anyway. He has always been a batsman of imagery and imagination. VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 11, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    A true Tribute to the One and Only ---Wristy, crafty,silent,special Laxman, U R A TREAT TO WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AbhiPro on August 10, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    @StumpedOffAWide . . . Don't think she is indulging in idol-worshipping in this article mate. Guess she was one of millions moved by some vintage artistry from VVS. Any true cricket lover would be imo.

  • Nampally on August 10, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    Sharada; Some of the Hyderabadi Nawabi has inevitably crept into Laxman. In the olden days when cricketers like Ghulam Ahmad sauntered lazily to mis field a ball the crowd in Hyderabad used to shout "Jhuko Nawab" ( Bend down Nawab). VVS is not quite as Nawabi as Ghulam was, but his attitude is to enjoy the noble game of Cricket in Hyderabadi style.Following in the footsteps of Abbas Baig & Jaisimha, VVS is a stylish batsman who has a touch game like R.Krishnan used to in Tennis. VVS uses his wrist to clip the ball with astonishing timing despatching it for 4. His Nazakat (delicacy) is evident in leg glances and sweetly timed cover & on drives. As you rightly say batting at # 5 or #6 (because his #3 spot is taken by Dravid), he still showed that he can not only rescue India but win a game or two. No wonder he is held amongst the highest esteem in Australia. Records & Numbers are dwarfed when the sheer joy of playing the noble game of Cricket in old style is the first priority.

  • StumpedOffAWide on August 10, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Seems like Sharda Ugra is cricinfo's Chief Idol Worshipper !

  • on August 10, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Great article Sharda, couldnt agree more.

  • on August 10, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    One line says it all... "Class is Permanent"

  • VivaVizag on August 10, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    Few folks here very appropriately mentioned that Laxman's batting is like listening to Jagjit Singh's ghazal. If one were to pick a ghazal for Laxman's batting which one would that be? Suggestions welcomed....

  • aditya104 on August 10, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    This article and its comments will go down in the history. Thanks everyone and VVS Laxman. I still remember him scoring 3 centuries in a week against Australia in Australia. Amazing........

  • Original_Bond on August 9, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    One thing I have noticed, whenever an article is written about Sachin, lots of comments flow in trying to defame the Master. However, whenever an article is written about VVS, no one dares utter a wrong word. I guess that itself shows the impact this man has on the world. (NOT TO UNDERMINE OR OFFEND SACHIN)

  • Original_Bond on August 9, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    Thank you for this amazing article. If India continue to have trouble in the ODIs with the short ball, may be we should reconsider Dravid and Laxman for the world cup. The fans would not be disappointed. We all want to watch Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman bat together one last time.

  • on August 11, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    A true Tribute to the One and Only ---Wristy, crafty,silent,special Laxman, U R A TREAT TO WATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • AbhiPro on August 10, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    @StumpedOffAWide . . . Don't think she is indulging in idol-worshipping in this article mate. Guess she was one of millions moved by some vintage artistry from VVS. Any true cricket lover would be imo.

  • Nampally on August 10, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    Sharada; Some of the Hyderabadi Nawabi has inevitably crept into Laxman. In the olden days when cricketers like Ghulam Ahmad sauntered lazily to mis field a ball the crowd in Hyderabad used to shout "Jhuko Nawab" ( Bend down Nawab). VVS is not quite as Nawabi as Ghulam was, but his attitude is to enjoy the noble game of Cricket in Hyderabadi style.Following in the footsteps of Abbas Baig & Jaisimha, VVS is a stylish batsman who has a touch game like R.Krishnan used to in Tennis. VVS uses his wrist to clip the ball with astonishing timing despatching it for 4. His Nazakat (delicacy) is evident in leg glances and sweetly timed cover & on drives. As you rightly say batting at # 5 or #6 (because his #3 spot is taken by Dravid), he still showed that he can not only rescue India but win a game or two. No wonder he is held amongst the highest esteem in Australia. Records & Numbers are dwarfed when the sheer joy of playing the noble game of Cricket in old style is the first priority.

  • StumpedOffAWide on August 10, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Seems like Sharda Ugra is cricinfo's Chief Idol Worshipper !

  • on August 10, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Great article Sharda, couldnt agree more.

  • on August 10, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    One line says it all... "Class is Permanent"

  • VivaVizag on August 10, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    Few folks here very appropriately mentioned that Laxman's batting is like listening to Jagjit Singh's ghazal. If one were to pick a ghazal for Laxman's batting which one would that be? Suggestions welcomed....

  • aditya104 on August 10, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    This article and its comments will go down in the history. Thanks everyone and VVS Laxman. I still remember him scoring 3 centuries in a week against Australia in Australia. Amazing........

  • Original_Bond on August 9, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    One thing I have noticed, whenever an article is written about Sachin, lots of comments flow in trying to defame the Master. However, whenever an article is written about VVS, no one dares utter a wrong word. I guess that itself shows the impact this man has on the world. (NOT TO UNDERMINE OR OFFEND SACHIN)

  • Original_Bond on August 9, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    Thank you for this amazing article. If India continue to have trouble in the ODIs with the short ball, may be we should reconsider Dravid and Laxman for the world cup. The fans would not be disappointed. We all want to watch Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman bat together one last time.

  • on August 9, 2010, 19:58 GMT

    Will always miss those wrist work from VVS LAxman.A man of few words.....doing his duty....never complained about the situation....Alwayz made a scape goat in the Indian team...............BUT WE ALL SHOULD BE PROUD OF SUCH A GIFTED BATSMAN

  • mrgupta on August 9, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Ok, suddenly a lot of praise for VVS, i agree among the Fab4 he is the least favored one. But i can tell you from my own experience that since last so many years i have been feeling good about India's chances in a test until Laxman is not out. My Favorite was always the 'Master' and 'The Wall' but whatever the condition, whatever the situation India is still not out of the game until VVS is out. He brings calmness to us and we are sure the Match is not yet Lost, Laxman is still to Bat.

  • kuttappayi on August 9, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    No doubt VVS is one of the finest batsman of all-time.But Ms. Ugra writing Laxamn scored 107 in the Lahore decider' through a veil of moth' is a bit unrealistic. India batted first in the day-night match and there were no moths to be seen! Well, I guess, VVS has that effect on the reporters too!

  • RANAROYALS on August 9, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Laxman has always been underrated player.his batting is a treat to watch.he is also an excellent slip fielder who took some marvellous catches.even cricinfo under rates sub continent players.but they always want to make english players appear like gods just for playing a single good innings.a clear example for a cricinfo over rated batsman is kevin pietersen who is actually just an ordinary batsman is shown as one of the best in england cricket history. players like laxman, chanderpaul, kallis and amla who are excellent players always playing for their team and not for individual pride must be given the honour they actually deserve not always running after those english batsmen like kp who is always dying for captaincy

  • Arvian on August 9, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    I think this is the best piece I have ever read on VVS Laxman OR should I say the 2nd best. "Nothing calms you like Laxman, by Dravid" must be THE BEST. Thank you very much Sharda Ugra, it seems like you know what Test cricket really is and how it should be played.

  • on August 9, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    we just remember his 281 or some other hundreds.....but VVS Laxman's contribution is much greater than that......

    only a few remember his 61 runs in the controverial test match at vankhede agaist australia in 2004 ,which played an important role in indian history...

    VVS has played so many match winning & match saving innings for india......but never given credit for that...... he is really an underrated batsman... but for me he's one of the most stylish batsmen i've ever seen...

  • Cool_Jeeves on August 9, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    The player of the best innings by an Indian ever (281), Laxman sacrificed his unsullied record of not scoring a century in Sri Lanka for the sake of the team. The greatest players did not play against Sri Lanka (Viv Richards, Imran Khan) often, and certainly did not score hundreds against them by the bucketful. Laxman had a chance to belong to this rarified breed, but bowed to a higher cause. Nevertheless, one of the greatest batsman of all time, and when the pressure is extreme, when very few players in the world can sustain aggression and intensity, routinely performs. Among other Indian cricketers, only Gavaskar, Vishwanath and Sehwag belong to this "bat to save your life" category.

  • on August 9, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    The period of muscle power has arrived every batsman trying to send the ball out of the park,but still we are lucky to watch last breed of endangered batsman of total class and style with photographic balance,among them one man with exclusive timing of his own when he drives the ball to the off or when he flicks with the elastic wrists for which he can claim the patent rights,one has to open his mouth and watch the fielders escort the ball to boundary thats what vvs laxman does and will do

  • on August 9, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    What a player he is.. My favourite one... His batting is like a great musician is playing his music of his life.... Cricket, especially batting, looks perfect or rather to say, a music, a poem when Laxman plays.. Most undervalued cricketer.. Still never complained.. In every match he is performing but still if he does not perform in 1-2 tests, people start talking about him to drop.. How can someone even thinks about this.. he should be gievn lifetime status that he can play as long as he wants without fearing of drop from the team..

    Indian cricket has done greatest insult of him by not selecting him for 2003 WC.. I feel 2003 WC result might have been different, had Laxman was playing in the final.. :( Not sure who to blame for his exclusion...

    The best BCCI can do to this guy is to include him in WC 2011.. There is no other way this guy can be rewarded for this contribution to Indian cricket.... I also believe that Laxman deserve much much more than having a "zero" in last One-Day.

  • on August 9, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    If someone has to write an ode on a cricketer, it should be about/on VVS since he has written numerous odes on the cricket field and each one of them small or big had been gems.

    He is like a poet/musician who conjures understated but lingering beauty to his lines, he is like a surgeons knife while taking apart his opposition and sadly they are not aware that they are being taken apart.

    In some cases numbers will never reveal and in VVS's case too it would be puerile to think on those lines. Ask the rest of the fab four they will readily and sincerely accept that he is the most gifted, most beautiful player, among them.

    After Vishy, if somebody has stoked imaginations and given goosebumps while batting that has been VVS and VVS only.

    Great mate, we allow you to paint virtuosos when ever you deem it fit and we will take it as it comes from you.

    Great and thanks to have enriched all our visual treats for so long. Blessed we are to have seen you and your 3 colleagues.

  • cricconnossieur on August 9, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful player. VVS is a players' player and a connoisseur's delight and totally out-of-place in the 20-20 slam bang era.There is one this one thing that many people miss out while writing about Laxman- it is his superb pair of hands as a slipper. He has taken some blinders at second slip and though Dravid takes more catches at first slip, India has never seen anyone more safer than Laxman out there. Greg Chappel would vouch for this. The greatest disservice Indian cricket has done to VVS is denying him a chance at the 2003 World Cup-this is one thing even the genial Laxamn himself finds it difficult to live with. Just imagine Dinesh Mongia was his replacement !

  • RameshSubramaniam on August 9, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Most underrated batsmen in the world who can play in any conditions in the world with atmost ease and style.

  • on August 9, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    Really ..... Very Very Special LAXMAN

  • Furshori on August 9, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    We are the chosen one ,Laxman is special..have you ever read the poetry of Mir AND Nasir Kazmi…Laxman is the exquisite example of that very fine Ghazl…….

  • rovar on August 9, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    Excellant artical Sharda. I completely agree with sharda that ''VVS Laxman's records may easily be over taken, but they cannot be replicated''.We were completely entertained for more than a decade ,thank you VVS!! We all being an Indian proud of our fab 4. Even Aussies can be envy of our 4 genius.

  • Robert-Dignum on August 9, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    okay, but we must also thank Raina who had the magnamity to sacrifice his own fifty and allow Laxman to reach his century.

  • forzaps on August 9, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    A piece worthy of VVS Laxman, I can pay you no greater complement. I'm glad you are writing for cricinfo, something for a lot of us to look forward to.

  • on August 9, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    VVS has delivered on a few tight occasions but his numbers currently place him at a notch below the 50 plus average bats like Sachin, Dravid, Gavaskar and Sehwag.

    He is more in Ganguly, Vengeskar,Viswanath category which is not bad but that is where his numbers will place him in all time greats of Indian cricket

  • reddy_rulz on August 9, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    this is decade for indian test cricket emerging has best team in the world .i prodly tell that laxman role is top most .he surely will be in the top ten legends of indian cricket .he is perfect role model for test cricket. shewag & laxman are the two best batsmans in indian cricketin handling pressure because they dint felt atleast 1% of prussure at any peak of time ..

  • anant_gupta on August 9, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    he could leave cricket without any monumental record. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Graeme Smith, Mohammad Yousuf and Kumara Sangakkara have more hundreds......

    I am scratching my head and try to figure out what record these batsmen have except for yousuf with maximum runs in a year. Not to deny the fact, each of them is very good.and they may have large number of centuries. But they all are top order batsmen(1-4) while laxman comes at 6 and so has less oppurtunities to score hundreds. But it is also a fact that lower you go down the order, the value of your runs increase. A 70 by opener does not save the match by 70 by number 6 is gonna win you matches.

    Today he is slotted in at No. 4, behind Tendulkar, Dravid and Gavaskar......

    Yes he is . But look at the list and you will see all top 6 in the list bat at different batting positions. That is the truth that he the best number 6 india had for a long time

  • anreddy9 on August 8, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    This article does justice to VVSL. It reflects Lax's grace n style. I one cannot admire more when you say "He has always been a batsman of imagery and imagination. VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated.". Its so true!!

  • aarpee2 on August 8, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Heartening to see a refreshing article-VVS embodies all the very best that should serve as a role model for youngsters-he lets his bat do the talking,an extraordinary team man.I still get goose bumps when I recall him stepping out and driving the great Warne [bowling round the wicket majestically repeatedly between mid-on and mid-wicket along the ground- innovation and poetry at its best-cannot be replicated.India missed him badly at the 2003 World Cup when we were thrashed twice by the Aussies-he would have made a difference because they knew he is very very special

  • on August 8, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    What a fantastic innings by a fantastic player. Laxman has so much class but also the grit to battle through tough situations. All batsmen dream of playing innings like this - coming in when your team is in trouble in the 4th innings of a deciding test away from home and playing a match winning unbeaten innings - but very few can accomplish this. You have to be a special player to do so. In fact a very, very special player!!

  • on August 8, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    @ Desidoc well said quoted by Steve Waugh. VERY VERY SPECIAL... WOW just an amazing cricketer.

  • on August 8, 2010, 21:19 GMT

    he is the one who changed the attitude of indian Test Cricket. not Tendular, not sehwag or Gavaskar. Its VVS

  • on August 8, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    great article..speaks so much about laxman...hona bol ke marra..lol..and its so true that his records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated..AWESOME!!

  • VoltaireC on August 8, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    Excellent Sharda!I watched every ball well into early hrs of North West hrs and what more my best buddy in Florida was also awake exchanging notes on our dearest 'Lachi'. Just one example of VVS ability to make even the very hardboiled fans simply melt. I had remarked that VVS, more than anyone, is a spiritual heir to Gundappa....in that he was a supreme stylist, an absolute go-to crisis-man, best against best attacks of the time and more importantly he seems to be just simply loved by his peers and devoted fans. Invokes pure affections....Guha wrote a beautiful article a while ago on GR and how everyone felt 'overjoyed' by even an almost simple act of taking a catch. Guha also recollected accurately on Greg Chappell affectionately tapped GR after his super critical 100 in 81 Melbourne test. VVS inspires such pure affection among rivals, fans and keen writers like Mukul, Harsha now Sharda. Without going into mundane stats I will simply say this..his sublime 281 has rescued Indian cric!

  • royalbob on August 8, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    I really enjoyed reading this article by Sharda Ugra,best article i have read on my Hero and very very special Laxman.i enjoyed our Hyderabadi Hindi/urdu line ""Hona bol ke maara".It is true that Laxman is a rare talent one will not see again and again..its just we are lucky. When is in full flow its like music or magic..no words.He might of score many more runs if he was selected fairly and given the No.3 position he rightly deserves. I completely agree with sharda that ''VVS Laxman's records may easily be over taken, but they cannot be replicated''.We were completely entertained for more than a decade ,thank you VVS!!

  • Mustafa7 on August 8, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    VVS is a class act, I still remember his 281 against Aussies - that was innings of class. I don't recall if anybody scored more than it ever against Aussie after VVS' knock

  • royalbob on August 8, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    I really enoyed reading this article by Sharda Ugra,best article i have read on my Hero and very very special Laxaman.i enjoyed our hyderabadi Hindi/urdu line ""Hona bol ke maara".It is true that Laxaman is a rare talent one will not see again and again..its just we are lucky. When is in full flow its like music or magic..no words.He might of score many more runs if he was seleceted failry. I completly agree with sharda that ''VVS Laxman's records may easily beovertaken, but they cannot be replicated''.We were completly entertained ,thank you VVS!

  • on August 8, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    I must make this point - I started to hate Sourav Ganguly the way he treated VVS; To quote, Gilly said about VVS being dropped mostly because Ganguly was at the helm of his captaincy being arrogant. I always have people tell me he encouraged youngsters but he has no right to spoil one's career to bring up another moreover it was not the best way to handle. There have been many who lost their career in that way but none as special as VVS but its sad people never protested for him!

  • anikbrad on August 8, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    He is a poetry in motion a saga of world cricket. rarely after a shot of even sachin or shewag i have ever said wow. but in case of laxman it happens of often. we say a lot about bradman and tendulkars but when speaking about stan mccabe/victor tram/wg we bow down, same with laxman. i think the shortsightedness and fear of loss of indaian has made laxman to loose his place to a solid dravid at 1st down. think if wi/aus would have thought of replacing ponting withsteve or lara with chandrapaul. we have missed probably another lagend in making due to idiosincracies of indian cricket. if laxman at 1st down and solid dravid at 3rd down- like shewag/ gambhir/laxman/tend/dravid/saurav/ india would have won more matches. centuries and runs of laxman aslo would have touched 10000. what your thought and need your opinion???

  • Sudhir29 on August 8, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    Good one, but we tend to go over the top with VVS , and that's his skill. With just 16 hundreds in 100+ tests, he did not do justice to his talent. (Waugh had 30 batting at the same position). Every batting position is crucial and important, we tend to make them more melodramatic at times.

  • Krishna2007 on August 8, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    I remember one ODI that he played in Bangalore against Australia in 2001. He hit 45, Sehwag hit 50, Dravid some 70 odd and Vijay Dahia 55 or so.

    Laxman's was easily the best eye candy. Only when one sees his batting in the stadium does one get an idea of what silken strokes mean. He just had to touch the ball and the Aussies were left standing. I still remember a couple of on drives he made that just went like a rocket from his bat. All with minimum effort.

    I see tests only to watch Dravid and Laxman. And Sehwag. And Tendulkar. We are blessed that the Indian team had such a pantheon, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman. About 50 years down the road, people will scarcely believe that we had such greats at one time.

    Laxman is the Stan McCabe of Indian Cricket!

  • Desidoc on August 8, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Steve Waugh said it best, ""If you get Rahul Dravid out, it's fantastic. If you get (Sachin) Tendulkar out, you're ecstatic. But if you get Laxman out, it's either a mistake or a miracle.""

  • ToTellUTheTruth on August 8, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Aaah...Sharda. Thank you for the correction.

    Those nincompoop's that were questioning my comments, obviously you missed the mistake made in the first place. Read the "copy and paste" of Sharda's original snippent in my post.

    Some people are so stupid...even their mothers would have tough time calling them "smart". Heehehehe

    Thanks once again Sharda.

  • on August 8, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    Men in Crisis: Dravid & Laxman

    I am watching test matches just because of these two great warriors..

    "VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated" So true!

  • on August 8, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    After watching his innings, I felt like he deserves to be in India's ODI tem, too!

  • shrastogi on August 8, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    In all time best Indian eleven (after 1974) if sixth batsman has to played against Australia it would always be Laxman. He is that good. Magnificient hundred against SL - importantly chanceless innings.

  • TATTUs on August 8, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Cricinfo has raised a step as Sharda Ugra has started writing for the site.

  • Proteas_Supporter on August 8, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    he is not "vangipurappu venkat sai laxman", he is "very very special laxman". indian all time eleven team is being selected, in the upcoming week the middle orders will be selected and just in case anyone have forgotten laxman this article comes as a wake up call for them. excellent article for an excellent player. for any more details about laxman please contact the australian cricket team.........

  • on August 8, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    One can't imagine India without laxman,Dravid,Sachin and of course Veeru.they are a delight to watch, like eating watermelon during summer.our neighbours must learn from BCCI the respect and importance given to seniors.its all due to their dedication,discpline,team spirit.bravo team India.

  • cricxpert89 on August 8, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    It is quite interesting that in his 113 tests he has hit just four 6s and in his 86 Odis there are also only 4 6s. Total 8 international 6s from him. He is one of the most old stylish players like Gavasker having unique and solid techniques.

  • on August 8, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Teriffic article on VVS Laxman

  • YESITSME on August 8, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    Writing about VVS Laxman is like playing the guitar.watever rubbish u play sounds nice,because the instrument rocks

  • on August 8, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Nice writing again by sharda..

  • on August 8, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    VVS laxman will always be special

  • Jelanichem on August 8, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    A friend of mine once said to me after watching Laxman bat, that Laxman is the most gifted batsman in world cricket today. He actually felt that if Laxman had batted at 3 instead of Rahul Dravid, Laxman would have been the greatest batsman in world cricket today.

  • timus6778 on August 8, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    da vinci must have said those lines foreseeing laxman's elegance well in advance..lovely article..cricinfo need writers like sharda ugra and articles like this...you were simply superb VVS.... my other favorite is rahul dravid..and please note that he was the first one to rush to the ground and congratulate laxman...remember mumbai 2004 what rahul said about laxman when the critics were on top and laxman had to bear the brunt..he said in the presentation about laxman"form is temporary,class is permanent." i simply love this when temammates acknowledge ur effort in public...dravid said abt ganguly once.."on the offside ,after god its dada". when dada retired,sachin said he was the greatest fighter in his lifetime... love this...this is what made them the FAB FOUR.. take a cue..MS and YUVI

  • alexindinuk on August 8, 2010, 11:04 GMT

  • on August 8, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    VVS is indeed very special batsman - far superior than his peers when come to wrist work. What he did against Aussies is remarkable. We know his 281 and 167 are famous. However, I like when both he (178) and Tendulkar (241) did in 2004 series, carrying the bat whole day (partnetship 353. I had to go on a picnic that morning and I preferred to stay back to watch great batsmanship. Had VVS been a better runner then he would have achieved much more that what he has done. Cheers!

  • Alkais on August 8, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    I would live another day just to watch Laxman Play. The way he turns his wrist to play the ball towards midwicket,squareleg. Had the Privilege of watching him score all those 50s during crisis. Nobody should forget the matches which was saved because of him.... He is in my all time India XI..

  • Daveptee on August 8, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    What a player!

    Looking at the future,the only real class batsman on the horizon is Cheteshwar Pujara,but what do when the selection committee is headed by a Joker !

  • SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on August 8, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Like Harsha Bhogle & Ayaz Memon have noted, Laxman is one of those players who achieves out of the limelight, so inevitably people push for him to be dropped in favour of the latest flash-in-the-pan. The manner in which Laxman has constructed a highly successful Test career after the shoddy manner in which he was treated by the selectors at the start of his career and in ODIs is testament to his strong will. He should have been picked in the 2003 and 2007 World Cup squads- he could still do a job now.

  • HISXLNC on August 8, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    he is the best and the best are never consistent coz they don't believe in consistency, you know y? coz consistency is boring!

  • on August 8, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    The best article I have read in Cricinfo. Laxman is like an expensive sherwani or that special suit that you display it only on the best of the occassions. When Laxman is on flourish that is celebration time in India. Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid are stunning in their own way, but there is indeed a very special place for Laxman.

  • ramkmu on August 8, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Your artcle certainly matched Laxman's "eloquence" in batting. Enjoyed reading it as it alway feels good to read about anyone low-key who quietly contributes very significantly but it is largely unsung. As point has been made by you and affirmed in several comments, numbers do not say everything in cricket (as in other sports). Cricinfo now has links to all artciles relating to a cricketer Player Profile. Perhaps Cricinfo could consider enhancing it by higlighting "overview" articles about players (such as yours was) to add to the numbers information. Currently all artciles, most of them "news" are linked. My two-cents or shall I say two-paisa. Looking to see more articles from you.

  • Rajesh. on August 8, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    The most stylish batsman I have ever seen...... and one of the best crisis-players I have seen & one of the most under-rated too. VVS Laxman is right up there with Sunny, Sachin & Rahul. A very fine article. " he can conjure up the illusion that the crisis is not being tackled, it is being ignored " -- this sumps up his batting the best. Prime Ministers and Royalties wait when this gorgeous batsman wields his willow......... because there is no greater sight on a cricket field than watching VVS Laxman bat !!

  • AadiS on August 8, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Laxman, the unsung hero of Indian cricket, for me is in the same league as Vishy sir... And Me. Sharda what about his majestic 69 on the rank turner of Mumbai against Aussies in the winter of 2004... Came above Lord Sachin and top-scored on the spitting cobra with such finesse and artistry, I don't think it can get better than that in terms of purity and artistry in trying conditions that is.

  • anilchauhan67 on August 8, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    What a fantastic piece, Sharda! You're the Laxman of writing!

  • BadeBaba on August 8, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Records / India / Test matches / Most runs

    You missed out Eknath Solkar and S. Abid Ali on the list. Both scored over 1000 runs

  • on August 8, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    "Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen" Leonardo da Vinci

    VVS Laxman's batting is the only thing that can both be seen and felt -

  • JayPmorgan on August 8, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    VVS Laxman Encapsulates why statistics are not enough to describe the greatness of a batsman and should never be used to rank one batsman to another. The quality of his runs , the art of his craft , the ability to make runs in a crisis makes him a great batsman. If you look at mere stats , then a lot of lesser batsman have far greater records. So I hope people who look at the history books don't just look at the bottom line to compare players. It has been said that there are lies , and there are damn lies and then there are statistics. This is also true of cricket.

  • Geeebs on August 8, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    When we compare no of 100s by smith/sanga/yousuf vs lax we need to understand he mostly bats at no.6 while smith opens,sanga 1 down, yousuf 1 or 2 down. His ave would be in mid 50s had he been a no 3/4 but then only the class of RSD/SRT can push VVS down the order:)

  • Ray24 on August 8, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    I am a Pakistani fan and I must say that watching Laxman is very pleasing to the eye. The others may be better in numbers, but certainly Laxman is one of the coolest heads in a crisis. The only person who I think is better is Dravid. You also don't see him agitated as many others in the game today - an unsung hero truly and a true gentleman. His 281 for me ranks as the best innings under pressure. There may be others, but scoring 281 after a follow-on is a rarity. Good luck and keep it up Laxman.

  • on August 8, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    vvs Laxman is the most underrated cricketer, we talk about who is going to replace tendulkar or dravid , but given laxmans nerves of steel it is hard to find a replacement truly a unique and a special player

  • on August 8, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    Laxman indeed is Very Very Special.. Each of his runs are special.. It is the pure art of the strokeplay of his batting that makes him so very special to watch, Although he is only 200 to 300 odd runs ahead of Viru, in almost 30 odd more tests, the weightage of every run scored by him is more, when seen in the context of the game and also for the asthetic value.. his innings are always stylish, classy n timeless..

  • smalishah84 on August 8, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    I think he is one of the most under rated players in world cricket given his ability and given the fact that he has been the man of crisis for so many times in Test cricket for India. And he is definitely right up there as far as being a gentleman on the field. One of the more likable fellows in the Indian team. All the Best Laxman.

  • RaamKD on August 8, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    I didnt understand, why these guys critisizing each other.. Sharda clearly said 1st 4th inning centuary.. some one is not understanding.. explain him to understand or better leave that.. Anywaz.. VVS is always Very Very Special.. He is always Imagery and Imagination.. But not in Sharda's way.. VVS is always in low profile and he is fighting for the place in the team after playing more than 100 tests. Whenever team selection process is there.. 1st I want to see Laxman's name!! Even he is in Fabulous 4.. VVS didnt get credit, how other 3 got.. even though he is Averaging 47 & playing at 5 / 6 positions. Anywaz.. Keep it up VVS.. continue as long as you can!!

  • Tawloo on August 8, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Wow! Amazingly written for an amazing cricketer.....loved it!

    Sharda/Cricinfo, excellent stuff!

  • Crckt-Xprt on August 8, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Sharda, your well composed piece does justice to the imagery and imagination of the classy Laxman. Do I see a sneaking desire to match your brilliant prose, stroke for stroke, with that of Laxman's surgeon like precision ? Laxman is perhaps the greatest unsung hero of Indian cricket if not world cricket. He truly deserves all the accolades that come his way.

  • on August 8, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Rightly said the writer. Lax is a class act. With all due respect to Sachin for the awesome records he has, I have never seen any body playing the shot that beautifully as Lax does. And he definitely doesn't has the records to speak for but he has got the ability to make a shot look sheer brilliant with his timing and elegance.

  • Sach_is_Life on August 8, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Wonderful Article...Absolutely Fantastic..I thought ur article on SRT was one of the best on recent times...now this one was definitely better than the prev one..Great work..Keep'em coming .. Thanks..!

  • sreeb on August 8, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    its very well written article.. but how much ever u write or talk bt this guy laxman its less. he is as classy as sachin, as stylish as azhar, as dominiating as Saurav, and as dependable as Dravid, as techinically correct as Sunny. So he is already an all time gr8 payer.

  • Guruprasad.S on August 8, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    Laxman's stats may not be as great as some of the other players, but his contribution to the team's cause is perhaps greater. And the JOY he brings to the viewer is what makes him special. For the last several years, Laxman has not only been his usual stylish self at the crease, but also a dependable man in times of distress. And absolutely free of controversy, on and off the field. This may be only his third man of the match award, but he has been man enough on many more occasions than that. In the context of Indian cricket, he may well be the last of true stylists.

  • henchart on August 8, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    I wonder why people here have to be fault finders and have a go at each other.Is it necessary to take everything in letter only? It isnt.Spirit also matters.VVS is a graceful batsman like Azharuddin was.Both have more or less similar style of batting except that Azharuddin used to flick outswingers to square leg ! VVS has not hogged the limelight like Sachin,Dravid or Ganguly but he is no way inferior to them.Average of 46 odd in tests is fantastic ,considering the fact he comes in to bat afterSehwag, Sachin and Dravid each of whom who averages above 50 in tests.

  • on August 8, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    Wonderful article about a phenomenal player and a great human being. The last para of the article sums him up beautifully.

  • sravanpvsr on August 8, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    True.. true to the core... One of the best articles I have ever read... VVS is VVS.. Noone can replicate him...!

    Even the cricinfo page of VVS Laxman tells very less about him.... Sambit Bal!!!

  • Percy_Fender on August 8, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    I am a bit jarred that the author has chosen to refer to a moment in John Howard's Prime Ministerial times to express how very much VVS Laxman had everyone's admiration in Australia. Howard known for some reason as a 'cricket tragic' would'nt know the difference between cold cuts and late cuts that Laxman is so comfortable with. In Australia they have a lot of respect for the players who do well against them. I think Harbhajan Singh is a member of the MCG in the aftermath of the 2001 India Australia epic. If Andrew Symonds had been anything at the club, I have no doubt that Bhajji's membership would have been terminated ab initio.Laxman on the other hand is liked,respected and feared in Australia. His humility is perhaps as compelling to the Australians as the pure silk he unfurls whether he exhibits it in the first or the last innings of a Test match. He truly belongs to an earlier generation of cricketers who would see more in others than in themselves.

  • Dr.Unni on August 8, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    VVS has always batted at no.6.still he has 16 hundreds. Graeme smith opens,sangakkara bats at 3,yousuf and chanderpaul at 4. so u just cant actually compare their stats. but sharda has said it right.its the retreating golden generation of indian batsmen.they have entertained us for the last one and half decade.Wish time could stop..!!

  • Raamakrishna on August 8, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    VVS Laxman has had his highs and lows on the field and his record in 113 tests is a testimony of the same. But given the number of times he was shuffled in the batting order to accommodate someone else, or given the number of times he was dropped from the team and given the circumstances in which he scored his runs mostly with the tail, I think his record is phenomenal. All that apart, his ~2500 runs in the 30+ tests in the last 3yrs show that he is still working hard to retain his place in the side for some more time to come. He is indeed our go-to man for crisis--and more often than not, he has delivered in such situations. He has been playing more for the team than for his own records. As he himself pointed out rightly in an interview earlier, he has not been getting enough returns for his shots while batting at no.5/6 when the field is spread.Can he be elevated to is beloved no.3 spot to get us some more of these wristy willow-works, that take him past the 100 mark more frequently?

  • gollu2811 on August 8, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Good one sharda!! Very few batsmen in world cricket has such class, Zaheer Abbas, to an extent Azharuddin and the last i remember was Mark Waugh. Watching laxman in full flow is as good as listening to Jagjit Singh's gazal.We can easily forget his many of his half centuries ,50 in the famous chennai test vs aussie,and the 4th innings half century vs the same mighty aussie in mumbai..... Form is temporary ....Class is permanent.

  • anuk12 on August 8, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    ah! Laxman's 107 is probably the only innings noteworthy in ODI. He is a very good batsman in Tests. Period. His weakness against quality spin bowling of Mendis in the last tour in Srilanka or his failure in T20 or ODI cannot be ignored. Stop lavish praises.

  • JustAGame on August 8, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    @Rahul-Indian. Cricinfo has changed it to 4th ing from 2nd ing, when I read for the first time it was wrong :) anyway it's no big deal, article was very well written and I always feel Laxman is unsung Indian hero.

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    His 281 is,perhaps, the best test innings by an Indian

  • aved on August 8, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    @ Srinis1 -- dude you are an idiot, you should read your facts first before you comment. The 281 Laxman scored was in the 3rd innings as India were made to follow-on.

  • Rex_Da_King on August 8, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    For all you folks who think Laxman's epic 281 was in the 4th innings, let me clarify you that it was India's 2nd innings but NOT the 4th innings of the Test match. Australia batted last in that match and lost. Australia played the 1st and 4th innings while India played the 2nd and 3rd innings. India were made to follow-on after their 1st innings (2nd innings of the Test) hence the order was reversed.

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/30750.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=start;runsmin1=100;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

    Above is a list of centuries Laxman has compiled. You can clearly see his latest century was his first in the 4th innings of a Test.

    He has scored FIVE 2nd innings hundreds:

    His maiden hundred- 167 at Sydney Vs Aus in 2000- Test Lost 281 at Kolkata Vs Aus in 2001 - Test Won 154* at Kolkata VS WI in 2002 - Test Drawn 124* at Napier VS NZ in 2009 - Test Drawn

    The latest is 103* at Colombo, P Sara Oval Vs SL in 2010 - Test Won

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    I am not sure how many articles i have read from Sharda but this one creates VVS's verbal-physical image as a cricketer..which like his batting provides peace & satisfaction..and at the same time is aesthetically pleasing !

  • thisgameislife on August 8, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    waiting for either sharda (if the 4th inning correction was made after being pointed out) or srinis1 (if he/she overlooked the detail and launched into the tirade) to apologize :-)

  • tendlya14 on August 8, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Definitely indias man 4 a crisis! Infact indias golden generation 'fab 4' would have been a perfect counter 2 the 'fearsome 4' west-indian quartet of the 70's nd 80's.

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    @Srinis1... seemed like to worked hard to put this comment! Can you note down that... it is his first fouruth innings hundred? therez a difference between 2nd innings hundred and 4th innings hundred. Please read well, before trying to edit! :-)

  • Victorian-Roo on August 8, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    @JustAGame & @Srinis1

    B4 u guys blame the writer for getting carried away by saying that this was Laxman's 1st 2nd innings century. I wud recommend that READ THE ARTICLE CAREFULLY. She has nowhere said that this was his 1st century in the 2nd innings. Please read it again, She says "That the 103 not out is his first fourth-innings hundred". Where the hell did you see "2nd innings"?

  • BillyCC on August 8, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    Laxman is an example of a batsman where the stats do not tell you everything. Or maybe a better way to put it is that you need to get the right stats to find the true story. The true story is that Laxman wins key moments for India. He turns series losses into series victories or draws with one or two brilliant innings. This is the second series recently where he has contributed to saving India; against South Africa he scored an unbeaten hundred in their innings victory to draw the series and now the century against Sri Lanka.

  • Farce-Follower on August 8, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    Nice article Sharda...but what a tragedy, the 4th highest run getter in India still has to battle for mindshare and his position in a nation obsessed by loud and fake performers.

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Laxman has never been given his due as a batsman and as a whole-hearted team man. In the pantheon of Indian batting greats of the post 90s era, Laxman will together with Sachin and Dravid rank amongst the best. One of his enduring disappointments is being overlooked for WC 2003. In his place went one Dinesh Mongia!! As the saying goes "form is temporary, class is permanent". In a world filled with ephemeral 20-20 glory, Laxman stands as a beacon of hope. May we get a few more years of top notch test match service from this sorcerer...

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    "VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated. " wow... what a beautiful line. This speaks why laxman is very very special.

  • cricPassion2009 on August 8, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    What a nice article. I liked the ending "His will never be a career in numbers, anyway. He has always been a batsman of imagery and imagination. VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated. "

    For most time he was questioned and had to battle for his place. It's very special to note that he is 4th all-time run-getter for India.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on August 8, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Ok, I hope you (all cricinfo writers, web page admins etc.) do read your own articles to ensure there are no factual mistakes made, before making them available to readers. Another point would be to make sure the links you provide are the correct ones too.

    Sharda, could you please explain what you mean by "That the 103 not out is his first second-innings hundred is merely a daunting thought"?

    And to think of that you mention the 281, in the same breath. So, which innings did you think he scored his 281 in?

    Perhaps, you were caught up in sentiment, or may be your intention was to mention that this was his first century in SL.

    Anyhow, some good editorial work seems to be a dauting thought shared by all of you at cricinfo.

  • VivaVizag on August 8, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Well said Sharda! There is no better soothing and esthetically pleasing sight in Test Cricket than VVS at the crease.

  • JustAGame on August 8, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    It's not first second inning's hundred ( even if one forgets everything about Indian cricket how can one forget the epic 281 at Edan Gardens !) it's first FOURTH inning's hundred, as far as I know.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • JustAGame on August 8, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    It's not first second inning's hundred ( even if one forgets everything about Indian cricket how can one forget the epic 281 at Edan Gardens !) it's first FOURTH inning's hundred, as far as I know.

  • VivaVizag on August 8, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Well said Sharda! There is no better soothing and esthetically pleasing sight in Test Cricket than VVS at the crease.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on August 8, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Ok, I hope you (all cricinfo writers, web page admins etc.) do read your own articles to ensure there are no factual mistakes made, before making them available to readers. Another point would be to make sure the links you provide are the correct ones too.

    Sharda, could you please explain what you mean by "That the 103 not out is his first second-innings hundred is merely a daunting thought"?

    And to think of that you mention the 281, in the same breath. So, which innings did you think he scored his 281 in?

    Perhaps, you were caught up in sentiment, or may be your intention was to mention that this was his first century in SL.

    Anyhow, some good editorial work seems to be a dauting thought shared by all of you at cricinfo.

  • cricPassion2009 on August 8, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    What a nice article. I liked the ending "His will never be a career in numbers, anyway. He has always been a batsman of imagery and imagination. VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated. "

    For most time he was questioned and had to battle for his place. It's very special to note that he is 4th all-time run-getter for India.

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    "VVS Laxman's records may easily be overtaken, but they cannot be replicated. " wow... what a beautiful line. This speaks why laxman is very very special.

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Laxman has never been given his due as a batsman and as a whole-hearted team man. In the pantheon of Indian batting greats of the post 90s era, Laxman will together with Sachin and Dravid rank amongst the best. One of his enduring disappointments is being overlooked for WC 2003. In his place went one Dinesh Mongia!! As the saying goes "form is temporary, class is permanent". In a world filled with ephemeral 20-20 glory, Laxman stands as a beacon of hope. May we get a few more years of top notch test match service from this sorcerer...

  • Farce-Follower on August 8, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    Nice article Sharda...but what a tragedy, the 4th highest run getter in India still has to battle for mindshare and his position in a nation obsessed by loud and fake performers.

  • BillyCC on August 8, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    Laxman is an example of a batsman where the stats do not tell you everything. Or maybe a better way to put it is that you need to get the right stats to find the true story. The true story is that Laxman wins key moments for India. He turns series losses into series victories or draws with one or two brilliant innings. This is the second series recently where he has contributed to saving India; against South Africa he scored an unbeaten hundred in their innings victory to draw the series and now the century against Sri Lanka.

  • Victorian-Roo on August 8, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    @JustAGame & @Srinis1

    B4 u guys blame the writer for getting carried away by saying that this was Laxman's 1st 2nd innings century. I wud recommend that READ THE ARTICLE CAREFULLY. She has nowhere said that this was his 1st century in the 2nd innings. Please read it again, She says "That the 103 not out is his first fourth-innings hundred". Where the hell did you see "2nd innings"?

  • on August 8, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    @Srinis1... seemed like to worked hard to put this comment! Can you note down that... it is his first fouruth innings hundred? therez a difference between 2nd innings hundred and 4th innings hundred. Please read well, before trying to edit! :-)