December 20, 2011

'Australia's aggression gets the best out of me'

Before he left for the series, VVS Laxman spoke about one of his favourite challenges - playing down under
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Is Australia still the place to win in for you? For you and Rahul and Sachin…
Oh, absolutely. That's one place where any cricketer would love to do well and win the series for the team. I have always felt that Australia in Australia are very formidable. For the simple reason that they know their conditions quite well, and their brand of cricket is aggressive. The nature of the wickets assists them to play aggressively. Always it's a huge challenge playing Australia in Australia. Really looking forward to doing well again this year, and also hopefully realise our dream of winning the series there.

Is the charm in any way lessened because their team has now become weaker?
Actually they have got a very good side. You cannot compare them to the likes of, say, Steve Waugh or [Adam] Gilchrist or Shane Warne or the other legends, but their batting line-up hasn't really changed. They have still got four batsmen who have been playing for such a long time. You have got Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. They have always been there for the last two-three years. Ponting is the greatest Australian batsman, probably, after Bradman.

Yeah, their bowling [has changed]. Except for Mitchell Johnson, all the other bowlers are quite new. Saying that, they have done well, especially in the last Test against South Africa. And beating South Africa in South Africa is obviously a huge achievement. It's very important to not underestimate anyone.

Also, not too much emphasis should be given [to the] opposition. We think what we are capable of doing. We have to focus to do the right things as far as we are concerned.

Mentally, do you think you might have an edge? Of the last eight Tests against Australia, you have won five and drawn three.
Obviously whenever you do well against a particular opponent, you go with that kind of confidence. Definitely you are high on confidence. Saying that, it's very important to start afresh. Assess the situation and conditions and play accordingly. Not thinking too much about what happened in the past. And not thinking too far ahead. It is important to do well in that particular moment.

Personally, what's special about playing in Australia?
I have always enjoyed watching cricket in Australia. Right from my younger days, I used to get up early in the morning... I don't know why, but something used to excite me [about] watching cricket in Australia. Also, listening to the legends like Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell - you could gather a lot. I always felt great watching cricket in Australia. And also felt really good that my first Test hundred came in Australia. I always relished playing in those conditions. They are great wickets to bat on. Obviously, great atmosphere around, because so many people come and watch Tests and are so supportive of good quality cricket, irrespective of which team is doing well. It's a great place to tour, and I have had really good experiences touring Australia.

People considered Australia to be the toughest place to tour until recently. You found it the opposite.
No, it's definitely tough. I am not saying that it is not challenging. It is definitely a very challenging place to play cricket. Saying that, I, and I am sure the entire team, relish the challenge. And that's why when we play against Australia, our game goes a level ahead, probably.

What are the challenges as a batsman and as a team to go and win in Australia?
It's quite different to what we have grown up on. The bounce is a huge difference. There's lot of bounce compared to the wickets in India, and also pace off the wicket. They are much quicker than what you get in India. Those two are very important for us to assess and adjust to as soon as possible. Obviously the new ball will be a key factor. Unlike in India, the new ball will be a very important period. As a bowling side you would like to get wickets and make it count. As a batting side you would want to see the shine off and then play a lot more shots. So I think the new ball will be the key there.

"I don't like to rate innings, but the Adelaide one was very special, because from the situation we were in we went on to win the Test match there. Any hundred in Australian conditions is satisfying, but the situation we were in, and having a partnership with Rahul [Dravid], it was very satisfying"

How are you preparing for the tour?
Personally, because of the past experiences you know if you do certain kind of drills it will help you get used to the bounce. Luckily for us, we [players not part of the ODI side] are going early this time, so we will get a lot of time and opportunity to get acclimatised to those conditions. I firmly believe that how much ever simulation you do in India, it's always important to get to Australia and get used to the conditions. The net practices and training sessions will be very critical for us to get used to the conditions as early as possible.

How did you prepare on your previous tours?
Similar drills. Nowadays, because you are playing so much cricket, you end up playing a series and immediately go to Australia. I remember the last time we played against Pakistan and then we went there. Now there is a slight gap for those who are not part of the one-day squad. I think it is very important that you get used to the conditions once you land in Australia and make those two practice games count.

Why do you do so well against Australia?
It is strange that right from my Under-19 days I have done well against the Australians. Probably their aggressive nature gets the best out of me. From the wickets point of view, I have always enjoyed batting there because I like wickets with a lot of bounce and pace. I like the ball to come on to the bat much more than you get in Indian conditions. I have always enjoyed batting in Australia. It's very important to settle down. Once you get in, you can play a lot more shots than you can play in India.

Are you thinking about the bowlers you are going to face?
I watched, especially when they played the last Test against South Africa. I watched their bowlers, but it will be a new challenge. Except for Mitchell Johnson, I have not faced the other bowlers. It will be something I am really looking forward to.

What do you make of Pat Cummins?
Not only Pat Cummins, but also Ryan Harris has done well for them, [Peter] Siddle has done well for them. Cummins is young and promising. He is quite quick and obviously he is quite raw, so he will bring a lot of energy. Mitchell Johnson has been there for some time. Even Nathan Lyon is quite a decent spinner. So they have got quite a good bowling line-up. I still feel they are a formidable team.

Roughly from 2007 onwards your career has found another level. From about 42 your average is now nudging 48. What has happened?
I have really enjoyed my cricket from 2007 onwards, especially from the time Anil [Kumble] became captain, and then Gary [Kirsten] and MS [Dhoni] took over. I have really enjoyed it. The dressing-room atmosphere has been great. That helps me to go out and play with a free mind. A lot of credit has to be given to Gary and Dhoni for the way they have handled the team.

You have scored seven centuries in this period, but you must have missed another seven.
Absolutely. That has been one regret. I keep missing hundreds. (laughs)

For me the satisfying thing is, I have played some important match-winning knocks for my country irrespective of whether I got a hundred or a seventy or an eighty. As long as that knock helps the team out of a tough situation, it gives me a lot of satisfaction. Saying that, I would have loved to have scored more hundreds than I have.

This rise has also coincided with the trouble with your back. How do you manage it?
The last year was very bad. Especially during the Sri Lanka Test and after that. Because I continued batting with the back spasms, it probably aggravated. Luckily the physio and trainer managed me and got me through the season, and I played till South Africa. After the South Africa series I have been working really hard. A lot of credit should go to our physio, Ashish, and Sudarshan from the NCA. They worked hard on my back and had a very good schedule planned for me. That's paying rich dividends. If you see, I am back fielding at silly point and backward short leg, which I was not able to do because of the back. I am quite happy with the progress and the way the back has held up till now.

How much work does it need on a daily basis?
It is not generally focusing now on the back. I have got over that now. What is important is to maintain my overall fitness, and I feel I am much fitter, much stronger than I was probably three years back. These two guys really helped me, and their programme was very good. It helped me become stronger and better conditioned. Now I am concentrating not just on the back but overall body.

You played two of your best innings when the back pain was at its worst. How?
(Laughs) They were important knocks for the country. Once you are there, you don't concentrate too much on your body or your pain. Your focus shifts to the task at hand. It is something which is very important for me. You forget about the pain and just do well.

Was last year one of the most satisfactory ones of your career?
Definitely. The kind of knocks I played in the situation… Apart from Durban, Mohali and P Sara, I thought the one in Ahmedabad was very critical. Against New Zealand. I got 91, and had a partnership with Bhajji [Harbhajan Singh]. He ended up getting a hundred. We were struggling at 15 for 5, and it would have been very embarrassing if we didn't have that partnership. I am very happy and contented with the last year, that I have played some important knocks for the team.

In Ahmedabad you were given lbw off an inside edge…
(Laughs) Yeah, it is disappointing I keep missing hundreds for various reasons. Even in Durban I was 96, batting with the last batsman, and got out. You get disappointed when you know you are batting well and keep missing the three-figure mark.

Any thoughts of retirement as of now?
No, none at all. As I mentioned, I am feeling good from the body point of view and also from the motivation point of view. It was never a problem for me. Every day I still get up with the same kind of enthusiasm that I had probably at the start of my career. I take a lot of honour in representing the country, and I feel it is a great privilege to get an opportunity to do something for the country. I am still enjoying the game and still performing consistently. I am not thinking along those lines. At the moment I am concentrating on doing well in Australia and don't have any other thoughts in my mind.

"I keep missing hundreds. For me the satisfying thing is, I have played some important match-winning knocks for my country, irrespective of whether I got a hundred or a seventy or an eighty. As long as that knock helps them team out of a tough situation, it gives me a lot of satisfaction"

Has the thought ever come up in the past?
Never. Since 2007 I have been performing consistently, and I never think too far ahead. If I am doing well, if I am preparing well for every match, and feel I am contributing to the team, I don't think about other things.

There must have been disappointments even in this period…
There have been lots of disappointments. For example, that last innings in Bombay. That's a situation I would love, to actually win the game for the team, but I got out when I was settling well, and I had had a good partnership with Virat [Kohli], and I got out at 32. That kind of innings disappoints me. That kind of opportunity I always like to seize and do well for the team.

England also must have been a big disappointment because you got starts there.
England was a huge disappointment, obviously for the team, and for me, because I got the starts. Except for the last Test, I thought I batted really well in all the three Tests, and I was dominating the attack when I lost my wicket. It was a little disappointing to not convert the starts. If I had done that then I would have contributed much better to the team. It was a tough tour for the entire team for various reasons. And I am sure that we have learned from that experience and hopefully we will improve.

I remember only two kinds of dismissals. Either those unplayable deliveries from James Anderson or the pull.
It was a mixture. Throwing away… not throwing away exactly, but not executing the pull shot properly. Also, I thought I got some real good deliveries, especially from Anderson, and from [Stuart] Broad in the first innings at The Oval. At the international level you are expected to counter those deliveries. Overall, I was disappointed with my performance, especially when the team was in the types of situations I relish and do well in. I was not able to use those opportunities.

Do you need to cut out or look again at the pull, especially going to Australia, with the bounce there?
It depends on your gameplan at that particular moment. Against what kind of bowlers you are playing the shot. You can't generalise the gameplan. It depends on the bounce on the wicket, and the way the bowlers are bowling. Accordingly, you play. I have always been a firm believer that it's about poor execution. It's not necessary that you have to cut down on a shot that has got you out. It's about how you choose to play the shot that is important.

Among the many fond memories in Australia, which one is most special?
I don't like to rate innings in comparison with others, but the Adelaide one was very special because from the situation we were in we went on to win the Test match there. Any hundred in Australian conditions is satisfying, but the situation we were in, and having a partnership with Rahul [Dravid], it was very satisfying.

How do you rate India's chances on this tour?
I think we have got a very good chance, but as I mentioned it is very important to concentrate to the process and do the right things more often than the Australians do. If we can do that, and play to our potential, we have got a very good chance. I am not one to think too much of the result now.

So you probably don't want to think about the fact that this might the best, and probably last, chance for you three to win a series in Australia?
I think every tour we go to, we think we have got a chance to win the series. It is not that just depending on the strength and weakness of the opposition we feel confident we can win the series. It's been a great experience in Australia, and I have always enjoyed playing against Australia and in Australia, so hopefully I will make it count this time as well.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 22, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    @Smithie, I never said anything that can be interpreted as umpires alone give the best possible outcomes. What all I said is let the greedy businessmen come up with something irrefutable for us to take away the supreme authority of the umpires (for eg as in runouts and stumpings). Let us not disrespect the umpires for the sake a piece of garbage that has become a laughing stock during so many instances that I'm just losing count now. Bear in mind, I'm not at all saying that umpires are infallible. But, that's our great game and we go by it. And to take away the supreme power of such highly respected entities of cricket, the greedy businessmen should come up with something irrefutable.

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | December 22, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    CRICKET AUSTRALIA, PL apoint MR ALEX400 as coach ,, it seems , he has vast knoledge on INDIANS weak points in batting ,particularly on V V S , constittute an enquiy committee to find out why &how over the years your coaches, captains, failed miserably on working the weakness, inabilities of v v s as enumerated by mr alex in his coments , allowing v v s to score heavily in home & away including that EPIC 281 WHICH WAS ULTIMATLY VOTED AS ONE OF THE TOP 10 GREATE ST EVER TEST MATCH INNING ,making life hell for aussees ,even during thier heydays,

  • POSTED BY recycle-bin-is-empty on | December 22, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    I dont know why so many of Indian and English fans are fighting here. England rightfully deserve their number 1 spot today. The best thing about them is their team is young and I can see them holding that no.1 ranking for a long time to come, if only they start to win in subcontinent. And there is no reason why they couldn't, when Aus can defeat SL in SL, then England can also do that. I just hope that they would take touring to subcontinent more seriously this time. As for our Indian team, we were rightfully at the number 1 ranking until our recent English tour. Our 4-0 loss was surprising, unexpected and disappointing, but the truth is, without taking anything away from England's performances, injuries to our players played a lot of part in it. I know as no.1, you should have replacements ready for your injured players, but common, about some 8 of our players got injured in that series and we were playing England in England.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 21, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    @APOORV, can not understand anything in your post but if you are congratulating england on being the best team in the world thank you ho ho ho ho!

  • POSTED BY kenishah on | December 21, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    i am guessin the big 3 r gona do really well on dis tour however india's bowling dosent luk as promising as the batting order. i tink umesh yadav will do well on dis tour but im not sure bout zaheer khan or ishant sharma. vinay kumar luks a certain flop if he even gets a game ( wich is unlikely unless 1 of the seamers get injured) . the interesting fact is dat the aus conditions isnt new 2 vinay kumar soo i duno if he will adapt 2 the conditions better dan other bowlers n get picked in front of other bowlers. i tink mithun isnt so bad maybe if india r winning the test seires den he could hav a go on the last test n the selecters can see how it goes for him n dat could prove his inclusion in future.i really tink sreesanth n irfan should hav been included in the 17 man squad if dey had den i tink india would hav a stronger bowling attack. aus bowling lukin pretty gud but it will be gud contest wit india's extremely strong batting line up

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 21, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    In opposition plan chart , first is sehwag , sachin , dravid , gambhir, dhoni and vvs last. VVS scores when opposition do not have good inswing bowler or good offspin bowler. I am not saying VVS is bad. He play only onside. So if you bowl offstump line or offside he score less and also he will try to pull everything to onside. You can freeze him by bowling offside. he will score nothing. I understand why VVS does that. It is like minimizing mistakes and easy to leave ball offside and bowlers has to bowl straight to him. Because he tend to leave ball offside so much , if you have good inswinger , you can knock off his offstump. He will have error in judgement that one of the ball he will leave that will hit the bals atleast. The reason he plays well against aussis is that they never plan against him otheriwse they would select a good inswing bowler. Based on what i see Pattinson can bowl both ways. he need to mix up and keep it offside all the balls. He will bowl VVS 100%.

  • POSTED BY krishna_cricketfan on | December 21, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    @@5wombats : I completely agree about performance of England in Australia. And your famous rivalry. As a cricket fan I have listened to the commentary since 1982. But you seem to be trashing VVS for the back pain/spasm. You seem to suggest that ICC changed rules only because of Laxman. I do not agree to use mildest of the term. How many times did VVS play with runner? OR How many times did Indian players played with runners? Very rare. As for talking before the tour, VVS did not say anything like one Mr Grieg about WI. These are normal interviews. Post series, it is quite obvious VVS will say something based on what happened. It is a team game and if players fail to be fit is it VVS fault? Simply put England had great attack and facing huge totals, Indians failed. VVS is a great player and he carried himself very well and I do not see anything wrong in this interview.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 21, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @spiritwithin; now let me understand this; What you are saying basically is that the England 4 india 0 2011 doesn't count - because the series did not take place in india? How boreish. It was india fans big talk going back over a year - before The Ashes, saying; "Aus V Eng is the battle of the minnows". That really gets the wombats wild. But we didn't question indias "number 1" status before they arrived in England - so please don't presume that we did. Now that india have lost their "number 1" status india fans say that the series in England didn't count because it was in England - the ICC rankings are wrong, india players were injured, it was "india A" team. So now india fans are saying that Dhoni, Laxman, Tendulkar, Dravid, etc, do not play for india first team - only india "A" team! This is deeply insulting particularly to Dravid who played well. india fans wrote hundreds of disgraceful comments about England during recent ODI series. So no lectures about "rubbishing & mocking".

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | December 21, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    India will crush the Aussies, Pakistan will crush the English. All the England fans would play hide and seek for next year as sub-continent awaits them to give the beat-down of the century. LOL

  • POSTED BY bluebillion on | December 21, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    When was this interview taken? VVS keeps talking about Johnson but Johnson was dropped before the NZ tour! Or is he hoping against hope that Johnson somehow comes back into the team :-)?

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 22, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    @Smithie, I never said anything that can be interpreted as umpires alone give the best possible outcomes. What all I said is let the greedy businessmen come up with something irrefutable for us to take away the supreme authority of the umpires (for eg as in runouts and stumpings). Let us not disrespect the umpires for the sake a piece of garbage that has become a laughing stock during so many instances that I'm just losing count now. Bear in mind, I'm not at all saying that umpires are infallible. But, that's our great game and we go by it. And to take away the supreme power of such highly respected entities of cricket, the greedy businessmen should come up with something irrefutable.

  • POSTED BY g.narsimha on | December 22, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    CRICKET AUSTRALIA, PL apoint MR ALEX400 as coach ,, it seems , he has vast knoledge on INDIANS weak points in batting ,particularly on V V S , constittute an enquiy committee to find out why &how over the years your coaches, captains, failed miserably on working the weakness, inabilities of v v s as enumerated by mr alex in his coments , allowing v v s to score heavily in home & away including that EPIC 281 WHICH WAS ULTIMATLY VOTED AS ONE OF THE TOP 10 GREATE ST EVER TEST MATCH INNING ,making life hell for aussees ,even during thier heydays,

  • POSTED BY recycle-bin-is-empty on | December 22, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    I dont know why so many of Indian and English fans are fighting here. England rightfully deserve their number 1 spot today. The best thing about them is their team is young and I can see them holding that no.1 ranking for a long time to come, if only they start to win in subcontinent. And there is no reason why they couldn't, when Aus can defeat SL in SL, then England can also do that. I just hope that they would take touring to subcontinent more seriously this time. As for our Indian team, we were rightfully at the number 1 ranking until our recent English tour. Our 4-0 loss was surprising, unexpected and disappointing, but the truth is, without taking anything away from England's performances, injuries to our players played a lot of part in it. I know as no.1, you should have replacements ready for your injured players, but common, about some 8 of our players got injured in that series and we were playing England in England.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 21, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    @APOORV, can not understand anything in your post but if you are congratulating england on being the best team in the world thank you ho ho ho ho!

  • POSTED BY kenishah on | December 21, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    i am guessin the big 3 r gona do really well on dis tour however india's bowling dosent luk as promising as the batting order. i tink umesh yadav will do well on dis tour but im not sure bout zaheer khan or ishant sharma. vinay kumar luks a certain flop if he even gets a game ( wich is unlikely unless 1 of the seamers get injured) . the interesting fact is dat the aus conditions isnt new 2 vinay kumar soo i duno if he will adapt 2 the conditions better dan other bowlers n get picked in front of other bowlers. i tink mithun isnt so bad maybe if india r winning the test seires den he could hav a go on the last test n the selecters can see how it goes for him n dat could prove his inclusion in future.i really tink sreesanth n irfan should hav been included in the 17 man squad if dey had den i tink india would hav a stronger bowling attack. aus bowling lukin pretty gud but it will be gud contest wit india's extremely strong batting line up

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 21, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    In opposition plan chart , first is sehwag , sachin , dravid , gambhir, dhoni and vvs last. VVS scores when opposition do not have good inswing bowler or good offspin bowler. I am not saying VVS is bad. He play only onside. So if you bowl offstump line or offside he score less and also he will try to pull everything to onside. You can freeze him by bowling offside. he will score nothing. I understand why VVS does that. It is like minimizing mistakes and easy to leave ball offside and bowlers has to bowl straight to him. Because he tend to leave ball offside so much , if you have good inswinger , you can knock off his offstump. He will have error in judgement that one of the ball he will leave that will hit the bals atleast. The reason he plays well against aussis is that they never plan against him otheriwse they would select a good inswing bowler. Based on what i see Pattinson can bowl both ways. he need to mix up and keep it offside all the balls. He will bowl VVS 100%.

  • POSTED BY krishna_cricketfan on | December 21, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    @@5wombats : I completely agree about performance of England in Australia. And your famous rivalry. As a cricket fan I have listened to the commentary since 1982. But you seem to be trashing VVS for the back pain/spasm. You seem to suggest that ICC changed rules only because of Laxman. I do not agree to use mildest of the term. How many times did VVS play with runner? OR How many times did Indian players played with runners? Very rare. As for talking before the tour, VVS did not say anything like one Mr Grieg about WI. These are normal interviews. Post series, it is quite obvious VVS will say something based on what happened. It is a team game and if players fail to be fit is it VVS fault? Simply put England had great attack and facing huge totals, Indians failed. VVS is a great player and he carried himself very well and I do not see anything wrong in this interview.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 21, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @spiritwithin; now let me understand this; What you are saying basically is that the England 4 india 0 2011 doesn't count - because the series did not take place in india? How boreish. It was india fans big talk going back over a year - before The Ashes, saying; "Aus V Eng is the battle of the minnows". That really gets the wombats wild. But we didn't question indias "number 1" status before they arrived in England - so please don't presume that we did. Now that india have lost their "number 1" status india fans say that the series in England didn't count because it was in England - the ICC rankings are wrong, india players were injured, it was "india A" team. So now india fans are saying that Dhoni, Laxman, Tendulkar, Dravid, etc, do not play for india first team - only india "A" team! This is deeply insulting particularly to Dravid who played well. india fans wrote hundreds of disgraceful comments about England during recent ODI series. So no lectures about "rubbishing & mocking".

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | December 21, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    India will crush the Aussies, Pakistan will crush the English. All the England fans would play hide and seek for next year as sub-continent awaits them to give the beat-down of the century. LOL

  • POSTED BY bluebillion on | December 21, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    When was this interview taken? VVS keeps talking about Johnson but Johnson was dropped before the NZ tour! Or is he hoping against hope that Johnson somehow comes back into the team :-)?

  • POSTED BY on | December 21, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    rohit sharma shud play instead of virat kohli :@

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | December 21, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    Mr.5wombats..how come in all articles related to india which has some honest views by players u always comes out of nowhere and starts rubbishing and mocking team india and its players but cries foul when some fans gives u back??saw u here many times critisizing indian fans for their comments but i think ur's far outweigh them,ur team havent yet proved anything thats the reason ppl r questioning Eng's no.1 status just like all of the fans including U had questioned india's top ranking before,unless Eng comes out of home and does well in subcontinent their status wont be accepted by majority,dont forget the current English team is yet to win against SA,in india,in SL and in UAE against pakistan,the same Eng team lost in WI in 2009,so ur team has a lot to prove,hence reserve ur comments till then

  • POSTED BY on | December 21, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    @alexk400 "if VVS playing good against aussies mainly because aussies don't respect him and don't plan anything for him. "--what should anyone say about this statement.hmm a close retort i can think of is "England lost all those wickets and ashes to Warne because they never planned for him"....but ur comment made was terrifying dude...and i mean it

  • POSTED BY recycle-bin-is-empty on | December 21, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    I know few would agree but the fact is India were the only team in the past decade who gave the invincible Aussies the most fight. According to many cricket pundits, that invincible era began in 1995 and finally ended in 2010, after the English defeated them 3-1 in their own backyard, even though their team was in decline since 2008. During that same period India played Australia 28 tests of which Ind won 12 tests and Aus won 10 and 6 test resulted in draw. Out of 9 series, Ind won 5, Aus won 3. And 7 times, out of that 9, an Indian player was awarded man of the series. Now I am not saying that we outplayed our opponents as the stats might suggest, but when other teams were unable to defeat the Australian side even on their home grounds, we were the only team to win against them evenly. And I consider that as a big achievement by our Indian team in the past decade, because we all know how tough it was to beat the Australian side when it had reached the pinnacle of its power.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | December 21, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    am sure Ishant,Yadev,Zaks and Ashwin will form the bowling for India. I still feel Rohit should play in place of Sachin. Both Kholi and Rohit should play because their form is good. Its hard on Sachin but the master needs to rest for this one and play next three. India should plan the next series properly - fast bowlers are injury prone so why not carry additional pace bowler. The second wicketkeeper should be Robin Uthappa. Irfan pathan shoule be the allrounder. Carry the extra player on overseas trips.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 21, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    @5wombats . we are not underestimating aussies . we know they are well capable of defeating india . and also would you please stop criticizing india for eng tour . . yeah we played bad & we accept it . eng played brilliantly & deserves no.1 spot .but does this one bad tour proves india are not capable of playing outside india . if you check records of post 2000s then india always perform better then they used to during 1980s , 1990s ( except eng 2011 tour & nz 2002 tour ). check this eng tour 2002 1-1 draw , 2004 aus tour 1-1 draw , 2002 sa tour disastrous ending 2-0 loss , 2004 pak tour ind win 2-1 , 2006 sa tour ind lose 2-1 , 2007 eng tour ind win 1-0 , 2007-08 aus tour ind lose 2-1 , 2008 sl tour ind lose 2-1 , 2009 nz tour ind win 1-0 , 2010 sl tour draw 1-1 , 2010-11 sa tour draw 1-1(for the first time india draw series in sa ), 2011 eng tour ind whitewashed 4-0 .

  • POSTED BY on | December 21, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    spence1234 now listen in 2002 india drawn series in england in 2007won in 2011 lost and won netwest tournament okk descent record wat did england did in india past 30 years humiliation one series onder first have a track record like india have in england than shout and still far away from india bet on me coming 12 months england will be finished because long time they have played in england now babay sobcontinent summer waiting after all these tours many of eng cricketers willretire like harmison who was smashed by india ha ha ha lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzz england in not even lion in own den 2007 series lost to india ho ho ho ho

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | December 21, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    @5wombats I dare ya to count how many overseas test series that India lost in the past 10 years and compare it to how poorly England performed outside England. Agreed that India played poorly in England but we will see if they can atleast beat Pakistan away from home never mind SA at home and India in India!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 21, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @Kreacher_Rocks - I do not like the BCCI (not representative of true Indian fans). Why? It's because it is really a Political beast. As can be seen in the back room dealings with the IPL, there are a lot of dubious activities that are not transparent. I believe that the BCCI reject UDRS, not because of disputes over accuracy, but rather, they want the patent to the technology so they can improve their bottom line. Surely given the personal abuse Umpires receive on this very website for making mistakes (real & unreal), UDRS must be used as a tool to protect Umpires?????

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 21, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - re: UDRS, IMO the technology should be used & whilst it is not fool proof, it usually gets the right decisions more often than what an Umpire would. Also the main reason I would want UDRS is to avoid comments like "...WHILE INDIA LOST ONE HOME SERIES IN FOURTY YEARS AND ALMOST WON IN AUSTRALIA IN 2004 AGAINST THE DOMINANT SIDE AND IN 2007 BUT FOR UMPIRING..." from dicky_boy on (December 20 2011, 15:12 PM GMT). As you would probably be aware, there seems to be a lot of Indian fans who blame the umpire for losing. I'm not having a go at you, but I see very little respect for Umpires coming from certain fans. During the recent Ashes summer, I thought that all the line ball calls went against Oz (happens when you lose - LOL!), however, I feel that there was Zero howlers & I was happy with the way it went. The technology is rapidly improving & I think MOST umpires appreciate the chance to rectify a mistake.I have heard of Umpires in tears when they realise they stuffed up

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 21, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    @Venkat_Gowrishankar; ok mate - you're on side. For what it's worth - we think VVS Laxman is a very fine player. Nice compliment to compare Vaughan to Laxman in Australia. Also - it's not Laxman's fault that ESPN is interviewing him, and afterall when he's put on the spot he's got to say something. The thing is - he can say what he likes, but it's action that counts. That business with the back spasms and the runner - that was despicable. But one assumes he was under team instructions to go out there and do what needed to be done (Brian Close and Colin Cowdrey V West Indies in 1963 famously did something similar for England - although that was only to ensure that England did not lose). Meanwhile in England in 2011 he did not "walk the talk". Laxman's failures were one of the (several) reasons why india could not save games. Only Dravid stood tall.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Gowrishankar on | December 21, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    @RandyOZ: Ha Ha, the same for Australia in India ..Ha Ha

  • POSTED BY Lord_Dravid on | December 21, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    @SPENCE1324..why shouldnt i use thereasons that india lost the series in england due to injuries and fatigue..or does the truth hurt you? and plz remind me the last time india played a 2 test series so as you claim to stay on top? @CHRIS_P..you can also be happy that you beat india A this summer..funy how a second string indian team hammerd eng 5-0 in odi recently..now you and your colleagues should brace yourselves for yet another drubbing next month in the subcontinent!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | December 20, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    dicky_boy . Try lower case for a change, it helps overcome people laughing at your posts & they might take your statements seriously. And let's please try to keep emotion out of posts. Your points mean nothing. yes India may have won more series, but they have played far more series at home. IIs this series at home? No, if you want to state something meaningfuil, let us ask, how many series has India won in Australia in all that time? And how many have Australia won in India? In reality, it is all moot. That is history, what matters is what is going to happen in the forthcoming series, nothing else. My only concern about India is their aged batting lineup. Reflexes are on the wane after you reach the 30's. Some more quicker than others, but there is no escaping father time. Time waits for no one. 6 of the first 7 Indian batsmen are well into their 30's, the question asked is how long can they last and will their reflexes allow them one more final glory?

  • POSTED BY krici_lover on | December 20, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    I am an Indian fan and hope India does well this time in Australia. Have read many reviews that this series is best opportunity for Indian team to win a series in Australia. If we look at current Australian team and compare with teams of past that India have played against, the conclusion appears to be valid but this hope is uni-dimensional. True, Australian team is weaker than previous teams but not that weak that current Indian team can defeat them at home. The Indian bowling attack again looks very fragile, you cannot win matches with half-fit bowlers. With ZAK is due to breakdown anytime during series, Ishant already gone, bowlers like Vinay Kumar and Mithun will offer a treat to Australian Batsmen. We should not read much into pitch of Manuca Oval, it could just be a strategy of Australia to not to provide good practice to Indian batsmen. For me it is still 70-30 in favour of Australia.

  • POSTED BY TontonZolaMoukoko on | December 20, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    I remember seeing Laxman's debut ton in Australia a few years back, it was like watching 2 different games - the road that he was batting on and the minefield that everyone else was. When on form, there is no better batsman to watch in the game, here's hoping he still has a couple of years of top class cricket left in him.

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | December 20, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    MR WOMBATTS GOOD U R HERE , WELL WELL R U NOT TWISTING FACTS, HAHA COUNT THE TOTAL SERIES WINS I DARE YOU LOL DISMAL DISMAL DISMAL LOL,INDIA LOST ONE HOME SERIES IN 40 YEARS AND WHITEWASHED AUS AT HOME LAST YEAR AND 2-0 BEFORE THAT GOT IT? AND IF YOU SEE TOTAL AUS INDIA SERIES OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS INDIA ARE LEADING CHECK IT,BUT ENGLAND HOHO ARE TWENTY FIVE TO SOME SMALL NO HOHO CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Gowrishankar on | December 20, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    @Smithie : All other tech's in the DRS except Pitch map are considered unpredictable. If DRS were to be implemented , then the "Pitch map" is the only accurate and fool Proof ( technically, nothing is fool proof! ) technology in the DRS Kitty. The rest all are not accurate and hence cannot be implemented seriously until their accuracy improves.

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | December 20, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    MR WOMBATTS GOOD U R HERE , WELL WELL R U NOT TWISTING FACTS, HAHA COUNT THE TOTAL SERIES WINS I DARE YOU LOL DISMAL DISMAL DISMAL LOL,INDIA LOST ONE HOME SERIES IN 40 YEARS AND WHITEWASHED AUS AT HOME LAST YEAR AND 2-0 BEFORE THAT GOT IT? AND IF YOU SEE TOTAL AUS INDIA SERIES OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS INDIA ARE LEADING CHECK IT,BUT ENGLAND HOHO ARE TWENTY FIVE TO SOME SMALL NO HOHO CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | December 20, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    MR WOMBATTS GOOD U R HERE , WELL WELL R U NOT TWISTING FACTS, HAHA COUNT THE TOTAL SERIES WINS I DARE YOU LOL DISMAL DISMAL DISMAL LOL,INDIA LOST ONE HOME SERIES IN 40 YEARS AND WHITEWASHED AUS AT HOME LAST YEAR AND 2-0 BEFORE THAT GOT IT? AND IF YOU SEE TOTAL AUS INDIA SERIES OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS INDIA ARE LEADING CHECK IT,BUT ENGLAND HOHO ARE TWENTY FIVE TO SOME SMALL NO HOHO CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | December 20, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    @Kreacher_Rocks - apparently DRS is supposedly being tested by Cambridge Uni under ICC auspices - but now Lorgat is ending in June not sure if there is the impetus. to follow through quickly. DRS is an aid to umpiring and should be under the control of the ICC Elite Umpires panel. ICC marketing people surely must be able to get a sponsorship deal to cover the cost - I suggest an Etihad review system conducted by the Emirates umpires. Even today old Billy Doctrove did the Banglas in with two howlers. Cricket must minimise decision errors for the good of the long term health of the game. It is irrefutable that DRS howlers are way outnumbered by Umpires howlers.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Gowrishankar on | December 20, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    @5wombats: Point well made!- Bravo, spoke as a neutral fan; But seems you have answered your "credibility" question yourself. If you think scoring against the Australians in Australia is a challenge ( and is a fact ! ) then there is none better than VVS ! ( Another similar player is M Vaughan ). VVS is one player any team would love to have, the guy scores more runs in the second innings , delivers mostly under pressure and in all conditions. One player the Aussies fear the most is VVS akin to KP. A small correction, the dismal record i am referring to is in the last decade, as I completely agree India's is even bad; excepting the last decade. Nobody is underestimating the Aussies, In fact i am just keeping my fingers crossed hoping the greats come to form so as to avoid a repeat of the England tour .

  • POSTED BY krici_lover on | December 20, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    @5wombats:Either you talk about India Vs England 2011 series or start referring to 1960s and 70s when leave alone cricket, India as a country was also evolving. I have been following Indian cricket since 1986 and I must say Indian cricket team used to be a very poor traveller and used to play a very soft brand of cricket until Sourav Ganguly transformed it. And in last one decade Indian cricket team has been a better cricket team than England with rare exceptions. I don't want to get into any subjective opinion or analysis. If you analyze the results of all series played between Ind-Aus, Aus-Eng and Ind-Eng both home and away post Ind-Aus 2001 series, you will see the reality.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 20, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    With zero series wins in Australia, that's right, they've never won a series, they won't even get close! Haha!

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | December 20, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    @nampally, I said it on another article and I'll repeat it in this. We have just come off one of the wettest seasons in the past 50 years. How have the wickets dried up? Manula Oval is not on the coast, unlike ALL the test grounds. And "The Aussie wkts.may be faster than the Indian ones & have more bounce"???? What universe or world is this in? Is there even one wicket in India that has anything more than a low bounce? Make all the comments you can on wickets you know about, but please have a think about making comments about the unknown.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | December 20, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    @hira02. Help me understand why 5wombats would be jealous of India after his team has just come off a complete & utter 4-0 drubbing of India? His post was spot on actually. Even though we are opposite sides of the Ashes contests, not one Aussie I have spoken to has begrudged England of their superiority and their current deserved spot at the top of the table. When you want to take #1, you take it with both hands and rip it away form the champion to make a starement. Unless I was watching different games, that is exactly what England did to India in England. Back to the article, VVS has always performed well against us, and should, justifiably, come into the series with confidence. He has always been appreciated by our crowds for the way he plays.

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 20, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    @hira02 do not use injures and fatigue as a excuse on india's 'village' showing in england.The ashes was a 3 month tour you know!,not the 2 test tours that india relies on to stay 'near' the top!....

  • POSTED BY Lord_Dravid on | December 20, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    @5wombats.. laxman did say eng tour not the toughest but that dosent mean he said its not going to be tough so i think you've got your knickers in a twist there.. and perhaps it wouldnt have been that tough if it wasnt for countless injuries to our players and fatigue! your comments echos that of a jealous person but dont worry your not the only one thats jealous of indias cricketing might..anyways i think u should focus on englands tour next month and look forward to yet another drubbing on the subcontinent!

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 20, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    @Venkat_Gowrishankar you state; "Until last year and the current, We all know about England's dismal record In Australia". Lets talk about "dismal records" shall we....? Since we first started attending Ashes Tests in the 60's England have won 4 Series in Australia. In that time india have won precisely zero series in Australia. The Australians are Englands most implacable opponents. They are almost impossible to defeat. We acknowledge them completely as superlative competitors who have taught cricket so much of value. We admire them. We have played cricket in Australia - they are fine sportsmen. As we sleep England followers dream only of beating Australia - anytime, any place, any format. Very occasionally the dream becomes a beautiful reality, as it did during 2011. England's record in Australia is dismal - agreed. But how much more dismal is india's record? Do not underestimate the Australians - especially in Australia!

  • POSTED BY Kreacher_Rocks on | December 20, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    @Smithie, The BCCI is no saint, but to blame everything on them is folly. Everybody thought that BCCI would change its stance after the Indo-Pak semi-final in the World Cup when SRT got let off in a DRS review. Instead BCCI steadfastly refused to support it with the same objections as before - improve the technology and implement all of it. At the end of the day DRS still has howlers. If the ICC or a board or a broadcaster has to pay boatloads of money for technology they would want it to provide good results consistently, not something that makes Bucknor of 2008 look like a fantastic umpire. Given that most of ICC money is BCCI's, they are well within rights to not spend more on this until they feel the technology has improved. I would suggest that the tech manufacturers bring on somebody like Tauffel or Dar as consultants and take their inputs to fine-tune things. BCCI will support this, but DRS needs to do enough homework first.

  • POSTED BY Rakim on | December 20, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    "Absolutely. That has been one regret. I keep missing hundreds. (laughs)For me the satisfying thing is, I have played some important match-winning knocks for my country irrespective of whether I got a hundred or a seventy or an eighty. As long as that knock helps the team out of a tough situation, it gives me a lot of satisfaction. Saying that, I would have loved to have scored more hundreds than I have" What an answer. Good luck in Australia sir!! (From a Pak answer)

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | December 20, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    The fact is that australians never had a bowler who has the good inswinger. He is a dead duck to inswinger and offspin. He is a mainly leftside player. He leaves most ball offside. So any inswing ball , he will try to hit to onside. he miss a few. Asif made him his bunny. if VVS playing good against aussies mainly because aussies don't respect him and don't plan anything for him. There is no perfect batsman. EVery one have weakness. It is not jut defending like sunil gavaskar do ball after ball. Nowadays you have to score faster also. if sehwag only bat first 60 ball only singles..and become selfish like sachin....obsessed with stats...he will become greatest ever...he can get century every time when he pass 50. My guess is Sehwag play with probablity and he has his own math calculation. VVS is just pure lucky to play behind sachin and dravid. if he played 3rd down , he would n't be in the team by now. If you ask him he will say he would have scored more runs. BS.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | December 20, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Laxman has every reason to look forward for a successful tour.The Aussie wkts.may be faster than the Indian ones & have more bounce as well. But right now the pitches are less green.The3 day friendly match from Canberra is proving that the pitch is more spin friendly than pace friendly.As many as 12 out of 17 wkts. went to the spinners. Are the Aussie pitches getting dried up fast just 3 weeks after the NZ series? India must not be carried away by the media hype & go with just one spinner in the first test. The so called pace, bounce & swing from the Aussie pace bowlers will be less evident in this series than was in the NZ series. So as long as India do not play wild or rash strokes, the inexperienced Aussie bowlers should be easily handled by India. VVS is absolutely right - if India play to their potential, they should win the series.India must not forget Ashwin & Ojha took 42 out of 60 wkts against WI. The team bowling centres round them.Use seamers for new ball spinners for old!

  • POSTED BY bigdhonifan on | December 20, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    @5wombats.... We will see how Fast truck bullies of English cricket will face Saeed Ajmal's Doosra and Flatter one's and Abdur Rehman Flat and low one's.. Along with Fast leg breaks from Afridi.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | December 20, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas - therefore many Indians and journalists are at odds with Viru, Dravid, Gambir, Taufel and interestingly Fletcher who was one of the instigators of DRS. They have all come out in support of DRS as have the majority of Cricinfo readers in surveys conducted. Umpiring howlers are a blight on the game, impacting directly on results. How can your logic believe that Umpires alone produce the best outcomes. Just look at the errors that occurred in the recent WI/India series. They make cricket a laughing stock. You have been conned by BCCI propaganda.

  • POSTED BY Sierra_Lion on | December 20, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Great player. Good luck for the series. Off topic but I would love to hear what VVS thinks of Sourav Ganguly!

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    WestIndies used to won like AUS but used to get respect as well, but same thing never happened for AUS due to their behavior . It is very unfortunate that a side remained champion for almost 10-15 years but respect was not there.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 20, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    @Smithie, many Indians and journalists think that the technology used right now is a piece of garbage. And rightly so. DRS with it's ball tracking, pitch map and hot-spot is a joke. The recent Aus-NZ tour has shown the ugly side of ball tracking/pitch map once again. So, nobody really cares to raise these questions when they are interviewing. Umpire is the supreme authority on the field, traditionally. And let him be, until the greedy businessmen (read technology providers) come up with something irrefutable, which should be justification enough to take that honour away from our supreme authorities. It really saddens me to see that the honour of the umpires is snatched away for such a dubious technology. Where's that respect for the umpires? In the trashcan, I guess!

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | December 20, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    A batsmen that is truly "Very,Very Special".He has played many brilliant innings when the pitches became difficult to bat on.His performance at Kingsmead last year was absolutely brilliant.Age has caught up on him though,he is very slow in the field too.Its amazing that he hasnt considered retirement yet.I hope that he isnt going to be the man to keep Rohit Sharma or Cheteshwar Pujara waiting for too long.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | December 20, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    @satish619chandar talk to Cricinfo editors for my reply to you!

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 20, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    this time Laxman shouldn't throw his wicket away after getting a start, he should really convert them into big big hundreds and win the match for India, Australian bowling attack is not great, so little bit of patience ans concentration and confidence should help Laxman rack up loads of runs n hundreds in this series

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Gowrishankar on | December 20, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    @spence1324: I like the humor in all your posts ( Sarcasm! ). I would assume you are an English fan. Until last year and the current, We all know about England's dismal record In Australia, let alone Australia, any other country apart from England. India or SA and even Pakistan have fare much much better in the last decade compared to England. . I still remember how tour after tour the English team got hammered by McGrath, Waugh and Co. Atleast India and SA resisted them. England would lose 4-1 or 5-0 , and you say India talk too much after a draw series?. He he . Case closed!.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 20, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    @spence 1234 . wait unitl you come to india in nov . you will suffer 4-0 , 2-0 , 7-0 whitewash.

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | December 20, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    HELLO MR WOMMBY WOMMBY WOO IS BACK HAHA ENGLAND WON A HANDFUL SERIES AGAINST AUSTRALIA IN PAST THIRTY YEARS HAHA HOME AND AWAY.WHILE INDIA LOST ONE HOME SERIES IN FOURTY YEARS AND ALMOST WON IN AUSTRALIA IN 2004 AGAINST THE DOMINANT SIDE AND IN 2007 BUT FOR UMPIRING,WHO R U TO SAY LAXMAN HAS LOST CREDIBILTY CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY dicky_boy on | December 20, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    MR SPENCER PLEASE DON'T DISRESPECT LEGENDS WE HAVE BEEN BEATING AUSTRALIA AT HOME FOREVER INFACT LOST ONE SERIES IN 40 years WHILE ENGLAND WON I GUESS ONE OR TWO SERIES IN FOURTY YEARS, SO PLEASE ARGUMENTS ARE ARGUMENTS BETWEEN FANS,PLEASE RESPECT LEGENDS CRICINFO PLEASE PUBLISH

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    in swinging condition grass tack bully anybody can get wickets one odd brilliant delivery that wat anderson is look at zaheer strike rate of 57 in flat tracks this is wat called bowler not anderson and steyn is greatest even in india 10 wicket haul in next 50 yers anderson will neva get but broad is lil better restare useless people underestimate zaheer strike rate 57 in test awesome in flat tracks master of reverse just jolted by injuries 270 wickets in test 270 in odi in odi strike rate 35 after wasim waqar imran greatest match winner from subcontinent finsihed hayden carrier in 2008 series in india troubled greme smith player average 50 in test in 2003 world cup 18 wickets in 2011 world cup 23 wickets great record this guy is something special but fitness always concern zippy zack his name given by count players best left arm seamer after wasim not vaas reason is there he has strike rate of 70 in test he is a better one day bowler and average recored outside subcontinent

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | December 20, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    laxman should realise that aussie aggression these days is all huff and puff similar to some of their supporters . they prepared a grassy green top to make sure they beat nz. im afraid that was to fail. what next not sure perhaps just bowl good areas on true bouncy wickets. and you will win 2 - 0. so when i get back from my hols i expect the aussies to be leading. then i expect the boys telling us were top of the world again. dpk

  • POSTED BY spence1324 on | December 20, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    For a country that has never won a series in Australia (and think a draw series,or a single win in a dead rubber is the greatest achievement ever),laxman sure can talk! ps as for jimmy anderson being a rubbish bowler,which current test bowler has got the little 'master' out the most Bang!JIMMY ANDERSON I rest my case,@5wombats totally agree with your post!

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    5wombats, I have a lot of respect for the way the Aussies play their cricket, but their mouths speak a lot louder than their game. Was it 2007 when your "champion side" beaten 5-0 by the English? If that doesn't affect the way you see your team, why should it be any different for us? The fact of the matter is India is no. 2 and Australia is way down. India have always (at least in the last 10 years) played well against Australia and if the recent record is any indicator (5-0 in the last 8 tests), expect to have a tough time.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Gowrishankar on | December 20, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    @5wombats: Rubbish!. If you remember, the English team disgraced him by accusing him of applying Vaseline on the bat. Please don't talk about VVS's credibility, he is one guy who talks less and walks the talk. Everybody respects him and he reciprocates the same. One player, i personally feel who could still stand tall if the great West Indian bowlers of the golden era were still playing active cricket. ( I wish So, it would be an intriguing contest ! ).

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | December 20, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    I hope India have trump card bowler up their sleeve. We can only wait and see. There is not much sweat in the Indian camp about their bowling. So all wait and see.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    I stopped reading because it became apparent quickly that Laxman isn't a player who does any real research and I'd be driven crazy by his sweeping and incorrect statements. But no surprise he's confident if he still thinks Mitchell Johnson is the spearhead...

  • POSTED BY MrBrightside92 on | December 20, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    It's a fair comment to say England is not the toughest tour for India. The amount of support in England is like a home away from home I would guess. Also, Boycotts comments seem valid after his first ten tests. No disrespect to VVS who is no doubt a fine player but I thought the interview was a bit dull. I agree with asking about DRS and I don't agree with not being used, has there been an interview with Bhaji about the Broad hattrick or Tamin today against Pakistan? Of course it's not perfect but it will only get to that stage if used and mistakes/inconsistencies reviewed, with player and match situation participation. I haven't done a poll but if the majority of the players, umpires and certainly the fans want it it's got to be in where available. We need the little master to get out in the 90's to a horror decision. In regard to the series, still can't see India taking 20 wickets but as a Pom, I am all for being pleasantly surprised. Happy Holidays!

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    Contd....and one main reason why Lax fared so poorly in England was because he was forced to bat at No:3(where he has never made runs except during the epic Kolkata test Vs Aus)With the regular opener excusing himself and GOD immovable and all set for record he was pushed up the order for disastrous results.NO ONE WILL SAY THIS.that is Indian cricket.yes,his record is poor in England even before this year's tour with a highest of around 80 but he would have bettered it this time had he been given his usual batting slot.Still did any one hear him complaining.Also another warrior for India Dravid was forced to open(he is used to unjust demands) due to farcical reasons but he responded with centuries.sorry but Lax is not as great as Dravid when it comes to application but these two are champions of not only ind cricket but world cricket as such and as a cricket lover i hope they dish out quality performance against Aus rookie quicks.pls publish

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    A wonderful batsman. I feel so sad that this may be the last time that we see Laxman, Sehwag, Tendulkar and Dravid out here in Australia. All geniuses. All four have given me amazing cricketing memories.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 20, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    @RandyOZ : Yeah.. Punter and Hussey are taking Australian cricket to new level.. We are seeing a new high every series.. Hats off to the performers.. @Smithie : DRS is there for everyone to see.. We all saw how it pitched outside leg stump for Bracewell.. It doesn't deserve to be in cricket.. ONLY BCCI has the guts to show it the place it deserves..

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | December 20, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    V.V.S.posessed more natural ability than any batsman I have seen playing for India since Vishwanath.Had he done justice to his ability he would have joined the Tendulkars.The best Indian batsman ever in a run chase and a champion when the chips are down.One of the best ever Indian batsmen against sheer pace.

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | December 20, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    No Indian batsman has tackled Australian fast bowling better than V.V.S Laxman who displayed his great mastery on the 2003-04 tour in the tests and ODIs.He brilliantly negotiated the fast,bouncy tacks where his innovative wristwork contributed greatly.Above all he won us test matches that looked lost against the Kangaroos at their peak.Above all Laxman has been one of the greatest match-winners in the 4th innings and his best innings have almost always won a match.To me with Dravid he is the most crucial factor in India emerging victorious in a series for the first time down under.

  • POSTED BY Hrit24 on | December 20, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Hopefully, Laxman plays to his potential this series. I will be watching this with apt attention because it will truly decide who are the current masters of world cricket. Hopefully, Laxman can play a big part in it. I still remember his 281* vs Aus at the Kolkata Test Match in 2001.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 20, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    @5wombats : Any player will sound confident that they will win when the tour starts.. We have seen Flintoff comment they will fight out and lose 5-0 in Australia and Punter say we will take revenge and lose 3-1 in home last ashes too.. BTW, where did u see any pronouncement in this interview? VVS has got a record in Australia and what he spoke now was just as soft as u can ever get.. Runner rule was scrapped because some genius were using it to their advantage denying runner for cramps while almost every captain was allowing it.. Fielding 50 overs and with 100+ will obviously require runner and that caused the boards to abolish it..

  • POSTED BY moBlue on | December 20, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    people on this board who underestimate lax are making the same crucial mistake the AUS champion team under steve waugh made in 2001. they had already seen him score a century in perth - as an opener! - yet everybody, including all of us indians, underestimated him. well, that crucial mistake simply led to their losing not only that series - after suffering the ignominy of being kept wicketless all day on day 4, mind you! who has ever done *that* to AUS, especially their best team, except lax and dravid? :) - but lax's incredible kolkata inning also started the rot in the AUS team which has yet to be stemmed based on current evidence! AUS rule no more! he has followed it up with at least one memorable performance in AUS every time! yet people continue to underestimate him. some people don't let facts get in the way!

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | December 20, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    @5WOMBATS . WE DIDN'T DO WELL IN THIS TOUR . WE ACCEPT THAT AND TRYING T0 IMPROVE . THAT 'S WHAT LAXMAN SAID IN THIS INTERVIEW FOR ENG TOUR . WE LOST IN ENG . OK A WHITWASH . SO WHAT . DIDN'T WE WIN THERE IN 2007 , DIDN'T WE DRAW SERIES IN 2002 . . ONE BAD TOUR DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING . WHAT ABOUT YOUR ENG 'S PATHETIC PERFORMANCE IN INDIA FROM 1984 IN TESTS(27 YEARS ) LOL . AND IN ODIS WELL ONLY ONE WIN IN LAST 15 ODIS PLAYED IN INDIA AGAINST INDIA TELLS THE STORY . WHERE WAS YOUR ENGLISH SIDE WHEN AUSSIES WERE IN THEIR PRIME . LOSE TO 5-0 TO AUS IN 2007 LOL . AND OF COURSE WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE ON AUS -IND FORM . GO AND PREAPRE FOR EXCUSES BECAUSE PAKISTAN IS GOING TO THRASH YOU IN UAE . WE SEE HOW GOOD YOUR BATSMEN AGAINST SPIN IN RECENT ODI SERIES . BE READY FOR AJMAL - REHMAN , HAFEEZ . SAEED "DOOSRA " AJMAL HAS A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU .

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @5wombats... England Series is a thing of past, India lost this one while they won the earlier one that they played in England. Right now the discussion is on this series at hand. VVS have all the things on earth to say that he have mauled Aussies in India as well as in Australia. So, what is your complain in that?.. Right now he have saved or won more tests than any of the batsmen in Australian team. Steve Waugh , the Crisis man, has retired.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    @ 5 womabts - u dare criticise any of the wall the god and very special one bad tour doesnt even lower his credibilty and him batting with back spams just shows how determinded a player he his i still say eng was not the toughest tour we have won there in 2007 we have done well against a tough team er ausin 03/04 and 07/08 eng will decimated from no 1 spot in atleast a year when they are spinned out in uae against pak and sri (if they take adv of spin and batting does well ) and then in india come back to vvs he has alwayed shrone against the aussies and i am sure he will play a key role in victory down under and get 4 in a row at scg again

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 20, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    Laxman and Tendulkar are only holding India back. Their poor performances do not go unoticed. The likes of Pattinson and Lyon will be chomping at the bit to get a bowl at these guys.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 20, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Haha, Zaheer, India's only saviour, who is going to swing us out, just got pumped by an Australia D side. Hilarious! As I predicted Ashwin is the only one earning his money!

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | December 20, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    It would be very interesting to have his view on DRS but the BCCI seems to have a blanket ban on any comment relating to the subject. Are you journalists not free to explore ALL issues of current interest in cricket?

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    i do not think so ......................

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 20, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Oh No! Laxman is at it again. Before the First Test in England in 2011 Laxman famously said; "England is not the toughest tour". He went home with a series average of 23. Some of his team mates went home in ambulances. Now he says: "It (England) was a tough tour for the entire team for various reasons". Well, that's big of him to have noticed. That thing about the "back pain" is laughable - so laughable that the ICC had to change the rules to stop what happened from happening again. The "back pain/runner" affair and the "not the toughest tour" comments have reduced Laxmans credibility to zero. Making pronouncements proved unwise for VVS before the England tour 2011. Lets see if these pronouncements fare any better. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY 4test90 on | December 20, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    As an Aussie living in Melbourne, I have always loved Laxman - he has long been my favourite player from another country.The only disappointment I have is his somewhat poor record in Melbourne - only 111 from 6 innings. Hopefully he can reverse it next week. Can't wait to see him, Dravid and Sachin again - don't say this is the last time though - I recall the exact same thing being said about all of them 4 years ago !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Expecting a Very Very Special Innings from the greatest test player of our country.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | December 20, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    I think Laxman must be one of the few batsmen not hit with the tag 'flat track bully' which these days seems to be applied to every Indian batsman irrespective of runs scored, average and other important stats. But it is true that he does get his runs when India need it most. Every time they are in trouble and the big guns have failed, Laxman will get a hundred and save them. Every time!

  • POSTED BY Prasant_NSW on | December 20, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Laxman is always a nitemare for Australian side.. With no injuries in recent past history, he is lukign dangerous again. More Very Very Special knocks are not far.. All the best.. - Prasant UNSW

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | December 20, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    LAXMAN is a class act of a batsman. Everything is made to look simple when he bats. Youngsters watching this great master should learn from him. In Rohit Sharma we have a new 'Laxman' In Kohli we have a 'Sachin' India as a cricket team fails to inspire confidence due to weak pace bowling. Their spin bowling is okay. BCCI should wake up and identify and nurture talent so that a pool of pace bowlers is available. They should also make sure these players are paid up, contracted like batsman are.The contracted players should include a wider pool.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 20, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    One of the few thorns in the Aus side that crunched all teams at that time and its amazing that after three series in Oz, the Sachin, Dravid and Lax combo is still going strong. I recall that innings from Lax and everyone was saying 'who is this guy - never heard of him before' but that was only the start. What a player and what a humble and down to earth guy and that goes for all three. Love watching this guy bat for the simplicity of his technique and amazing calmness at the wicket.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 20, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Hmm.. Classy VVs.. It was a treat to watch his innings especially in Australia.. He always had the potential to be better but due to various factors, he never justified it.. Never mind.. His shots will stay in mind forever..

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | December 20, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    A genuinely unsung hero. Laxman has been as every bit as important as T'kar, Shewag & Dravid for making India the competitive side today, unlike the IPL craps & likes of Youvraj, Raina, Jadeja who fail more often than not when it matters. Among the young crop of India Players, Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma have the right ingredients to succeed under any condition if they keep their head up & pay focus on the job. Laxman was quite plainly criticized by Geoffrey Boycott during his initial times, Boycott once said during a match in Asian Test Championship '99, that even wicketkeepers those days could bat better than Laxman who was then averageing a mediocre 20+ after his initial 10 matches or so. He clearly questioned regarding the possibility of Laxman succeeding in Austrailia where there's additional pace & bounce. Quite ironically, Austrailia has become Laxman's favorite opponents. Each run in his 8000+ test runs has played a crucial role. Not sure what Boycott has to say now.

  • POSTED BY India_boy on | December 20, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Laxman : "I have always felt that Australia in Australia are very formidable", now thats the understatement of the century,even though i know its too early! this is the height of "modesty". but still Laxman's contributions in taking the Indian team to No.1 spot is bettered only by Sehwag while Dravid/Kumble/Zak stand alongside him. for all those who undermine his contribution, check the ratio of "when people desperately want him to come good to and he does come good!", you will find that his ratio is the highest among all the other so-called good batsmen, surpassed probably only by Andy flower. VVS is one of the classiest acts in cricket today, his batting is based on the principal of "energy-saving contribution". Very Very Sufficient!

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | December 20, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Truely a very special player for India. Though I feel he has done only about 60% of his potential. His laid back approach at the beginning of the career and the way the selectors and captains played with this position has not helped him at all. He is the right choice for No.3, but with the Wall firmly in position, his best bet was No.5. Many-a-time the axe was strangely hanging on Lax though he performed brilliantly just a couple of tests before. However, I feel expecting another big series from him Downunder is asking for too much. Lax does well against seasoned bowlers and always falters against newcomers. Today Aussies have only new comers whom the Indians and especially VVS have never faced. It could turn out to be sour grapes for VVS and the Indians as they are going there with high expectations. All said and done this is the best chance by far for Dhoni sena to conquer the last frontier. However, I feel this series would have max 2 results and a 1-1 is the best possible result.

  • POSTED BY on | December 20, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    hope the very very special laxman continues to dazzle for atleast 3 more years.........

  • POSTED BY D.Sharma on | December 20, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    It was Tendulkar in South Africa, Dravid in England and now it's time for Laxman in Australia.

  • POSTED BY East_West on | December 20, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    I will be surprised if Laxman will get to decent scores! He is great but fails more than he succeeds, and he WILL not be scoring runs easily in this series! HE should retire and let young and dynamic ones get a chance! Sachin should retire as well! Dravid should slowly pave way for young ones as well! These three are nothing thinking of future of INDIA with a new generation of cricketers waiting!! Sad! sure we might loose some with new ones, but we need to look ahead!!

  • POSTED BY Doogius on | December 20, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Aren't stats grand. 8 tests, looks great for India, but if I make it 8 years its 5-5-6 or something like that. Sid, do you also write about climate change:) FTR, great bat, hope VVS does well.

  • POSTED BY N.Sundararajan on | December 20, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Siddharth Mongia, You have done some good interviews in the past--but in this one, you seem to be putting words into Laxman's mouth ! He is a mature and a refined individual, so he has answered your twisted questions decently---but Siddharth, this is not fair journalism or a reasonable approach. for God's sake, do not try such tricks with the youngsters in the team---then they will land themselves and Indian team into trouble---and you will be laughing your way to the Bank with your fancy write-ups and captions ! Like "Physician, heal thyself"---Columnist--correct yourself ---PLEASE !

  • POSTED BY sharkwolf on | December 20, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Laxman and Dravid are the true represenator/champions of modern indian cricket...

  • POSTED BY chilled_avenger on | December 20, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Laxman is a brilliant batsman but sometimes I feel that though he had the potential to be among greats,he never truly did justice to his talent! Don't get me wrong,he has played many memorable innings under pressure situations and has played remarkably well against Aussies but somehow the consistency of form eluded him for the most of his career. Throughout his career he has also shown the tendency of not being able to convert fifties to hundreds (And please don't say that its due to him batting at No.5 or No.6 since Steve Waugh,Azaharuddin,Sobers,Mohd. Yousuf,Andy Flower etc. too mostly played on this positions and still managed to convert 50s to 100s at a healthy rate). He is still an amazingly graceful batsman but surely he could have been much more..............

  • POSTED BY SidTan on | December 20, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    One of the best cricketers India has ever produces.....Keep going VVS :-)

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | December 20, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    funny that the interviewee's respect and intelligence is so much higher than the interviewer. australia weaker? says who? its a basically the same team, maybe even better than when india last came. australia a tough place to tour until recently? we'll see

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | December 20, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    England weren't aggressive? What happened there?

  • POSTED BY donda on | December 20, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    VVS is very special and he likes the pace and aggression. I watched him live in 2003 in Lahore against Shoaib Akhtar in ODI. He scored 4 consecutive boundries against Akhtar in first over. Akthar was bowling with extreme pace but VVS just drove him so cleanly that my eyes were wide open after watching that batting. VVS loves pace and australia is all about pace and VVS will do good this time around. He is team man and that i love about him.

  • POSTED BY Mark00 on | December 20, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    His backpain and tough conditions brings the best out of him because, by giving him an excuse for failing, it takes away his fear of failing. Only then do we see Laxman at his best and at his best he's done things that no other Indian batsman has done. Without a doubt, he's the best Indian batsman I've ever seen.

  • POSTED BY Positive_Critic on | December 20, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    I like the modest approach of Laxman off the field....Yesterday was reading Ian Chappell's article on how important it is for India that Sehwag and Zak fires... But he completely forgot to mention 2 players.. Rahul Dravid and VVS... I would love to believe even the Aussie bowlers are concentrating only on Sehwag and would be fun when Rahul and VVS make them pay for the negligence.... 2 of the most successful players against Oz...

  • POSTED BY Full-Blooded-Wallop on | December 20, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Go legend,you can easily smash 3-4 centuries this series!

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  • POSTED BY Full-Blooded-Wallop on | December 20, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Go legend,you can easily smash 3-4 centuries this series!

  • POSTED BY Positive_Critic on | December 20, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    I like the modest approach of Laxman off the field....Yesterday was reading Ian Chappell's article on how important it is for India that Sehwag and Zak fires... But he completely forgot to mention 2 players.. Rahul Dravid and VVS... I would love to believe even the Aussie bowlers are concentrating only on Sehwag and would be fun when Rahul and VVS make them pay for the negligence.... 2 of the most successful players against Oz...

  • POSTED BY Mark00 on | December 20, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    His backpain and tough conditions brings the best out of him because, by giving him an excuse for failing, it takes away his fear of failing. Only then do we see Laxman at his best and at his best he's done things that no other Indian batsman has done. Without a doubt, he's the best Indian batsman I've ever seen.

  • POSTED BY donda on | December 20, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    VVS is very special and he likes the pace and aggression. I watched him live in 2003 in Lahore against Shoaib Akhtar in ODI. He scored 4 consecutive boundries against Akhtar in first over. Akthar was bowling with extreme pace but VVS just drove him so cleanly that my eyes were wide open after watching that batting. VVS loves pace and australia is all about pace and VVS will do good this time around. He is team man and that i love about him.

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | December 20, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    England weren't aggressive? What happened there?

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | December 20, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    funny that the interviewee's respect and intelligence is so much higher than the interviewer. australia weaker? says who? its a basically the same team, maybe even better than when india last came. australia a tough place to tour until recently? we'll see

  • POSTED BY SidTan on | December 20, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    One of the best cricketers India has ever produces.....Keep going VVS :-)

  • POSTED BY chilled_avenger on | December 20, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Laxman is a brilliant batsman but sometimes I feel that though he had the potential to be among greats,he never truly did justice to his talent! Don't get me wrong,he has played many memorable innings under pressure situations and has played remarkably well against Aussies but somehow the consistency of form eluded him for the most of his career. Throughout his career he has also shown the tendency of not being able to convert fifties to hundreds (And please don't say that its due to him batting at No.5 or No.6 since Steve Waugh,Azaharuddin,Sobers,Mohd. Yousuf,Andy Flower etc. too mostly played on this positions and still managed to convert 50s to 100s at a healthy rate). He is still an amazingly graceful batsman but surely he could have been much more..............

  • POSTED BY sharkwolf on | December 20, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Laxman and Dravid are the true represenator/champions of modern indian cricket...

  • POSTED BY N.Sundararajan on | December 20, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    Siddharth Mongia, You have done some good interviews in the past--but in this one, you seem to be putting words into Laxman's mouth ! He is a mature and a refined individual, so he has answered your twisted questions decently---but Siddharth, this is not fair journalism or a reasonable approach. for God's sake, do not try such tricks with the youngsters in the team---then they will land themselves and Indian team into trouble---and you will be laughing your way to the Bank with your fancy write-ups and captions ! Like "Physician, heal thyself"---Columnist--correct yourself ---PLEASE !