South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban December 30, 2010

'Durban among toughest wickets I've played' - Laxman

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VVS Laxman ranks Durban "up there" with the best wins of his career, especially because on the first day the batsmen had to counter "one of the most challenging wickets I have played on in my career".

"If you beat South Africa on definitely the quickest and bounciest wicket in the country, it gives you that much additional joy," Laxman said, a day after India finished the series-levelling 87-run win. "Everyone talks about Durban being the place where South Africa puts the opposition under pressure, even though the results haven't been going their way recently. It gives us a lot of satisfaction to have beaten them in these conditions."

Laxman said the conditions in Durban were the supreme test of India's batsmen's skill and temperament. "You have got a pace-bowling attack that is one of the best in the world at the moment. Then the conditions were ideal for them, where the ball was seaming, and there was bounce that we are not used to because most of the time we play on subcontinent wickets. Even abroad you don't usually get wickets that have such steep bounce. Test match cricket is all about challenging the skill you have got, and the temperament you have got. And this was one of the most challenging wickets I have played on in my career."

Until Ashwell Prince scored 39 in South Africa's second innings, the game's top two scores belonged to Laxman: 96 and 38. It took a stunning catch to stop him at 38 in the first innings. His patience, his skill, his technique stood apart from the 11 other specialist batsmen and two wicketkeeper-batsmen on show. And again, as has increasingly become Laxman's wont, he added runs with the tail.

"It boils down to the experience and the rapport I share with each one of them," he said of the secret behind his success with the lower order. "It is very important to give them confidence. Luckily, each one of them works on his batting, and they take a lot of pride in their batting and don't want to throw their wicket away. Because they're out there with a fighting spirit, and not to give their wicket away easily to the opposition, it helps me.

"We set ourselves small targets without looking at getting a 30-run or a 50-run partnership. We're just looking to have a five-run partnership or survive one over, and then take it five overs at a time or something like that. The most important thing is knowing what they are comfortable with and that's something I've learnt to do over the years. If I know that a batsman is not comfortable with a certain bowler then I don't give them strike. But if they're comfortable, then I definitely give them the strike because the scoreboard keeps moving and the pressure suddenly shifts from us to the opposition."

Laxman missed out on a century in Durban, which has often been the case with many a crucial knock of his, coming as they tend to do with the lower order for company. Here, too, he was the last man out, trying to get a boundary when the field came up for the last two deliveries of an over. Before that, though, he had played a paddle-sweep to get to the 90s, a shot he doesn't often play.

"That's something I got into my repertoire this year, especially after playing against Sri Lanka last year in India. There was a situation at CCI (the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai) where they didn't have the square leg back because I don't play the sweep shot. I wasn't getting easy singles. That's when I started playing the sweep shot, and even in Sri Lanka this year I played it. I worked a lot on that shot in the nets, and I'm quite comfortable playing it."

What made the difference between Centurion and Durban was we were a lot more aggressive in the field and with the ball in Durban. Our body language was extremely aggressive

Laxman admitted he was disappointed about missing a century. "You're happy that you've been able to absorb the pressure and perform when it's required and play an important knock for the team, but from a personal milestone point of view you will be very disappointed. As I always feel, my conversion rate hasn't been great, with 49 fifties and 16 hundreds. From a personal point of view I would have been more happy to get centuries in these games, but from the team perspective I've done reasonably well to bail the team out of tough situations."

He might have missed the hundred, but he talked of something that meant more to him. "You always want to be remembered as somebody who contributed to winning matches for the country. The biggest recognition you can get is when your team-mates know that you are somebody who can go in during tough situations and bail the team out, or when the opposition feels that they cannot take it for granted that the match is over till you are out. It also gives you added responsibility that you have to go and do it whenever you play for the country."

Laxman said he doesn't quite know what it is that gets the best out of him in pressure situations. "If the situation is like the one it was in Durban, in both the innings, it gets the best out of me. I don't know the reason for it. Probably the zone I go into when we are faced with a tough challenge is much more consistent than the one I go in with for the first innings."

Laxman said the major difference between the Indian sides that took the field in Centurion and Durban was aggression, not the verbal kind but the intent. "Coming into this Test match we were upset firstly about what happened in Centurion and the preparations were good leading into the Test. The aggression was more than what it was in Centurion. As a fielding unit and a bowling unit, we were aggressive on the field. The turning point was the way our bowlers bowled on the second day because getting just 200 runs on the first-day wicket, even though it was a reasonable achievement by the team, it was still a situation where one partnership could take the game away from us. But our bowlers bowled with intent, the fielders backed them up with some extraordinary catches and the body language was extremely aggressive. I think that was the difference between Centurion and Durban"

One of the major factors in the revival was Zaheer Khan, and Laxman spoke of his value to the team. "He is one of the toughest bowlers to play. I would never like to face him in a match. In the nets he is always at you. The way he prepares, knowing what he is going to do in the upcoming Test, is unbelievable. He is a great role model for all the young fast bowlers.

"As a team-mate, his presence just lifts us because of the way he helps the other fast bowlers. It's not only that he comes and bowls his quota of overs and keeps quiet, but the way he guides an Ishant Sharma or a Sreesanth while they are bowling is unbelievable. He has been a true match-winner for us over the years. Not only where conditions help fast bowling, but also in the subcontinent."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Proteas123 on January 6, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Laxman made a big difference and rate him as the most dangerous of indian line up, but the ultimate difference was the poor umpiring which runed what was going to be a close game. Pitty UDRS was not used but then that would hurt India with umpires very reluctant to give out SRT and quite happy to give shockers to SA.

  • superislam2011 on January 2, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    after a long time india plays on a good bowling wicket ohh them dead indian cricket wickets

  • rahul_dec on January 1, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    @Des_65: That is why Laxman is a better player than SRT when it comes to bailing the team out of tough situation. If senior player like SRT cannot help his team mate to stick to the other end then what is the use of his experience. And on top of that he usually plays with the top order who are better batters than the lower order. Where as Laxman plays with the lower and still manages either to save a test or score a win from tough situations. If you observe closely, the tests in which India won when SRT played well, there are also other batsmen (top order) who have scored along with SRT. So SRT is no doubt a match winner but he needs support from the top order. Bowlers are supposed to support the batsmen to defend. Not only Laxman even SRT needs support from bowlers to defend a good total. Now you tell me who should be given more credit and who is playing for the team. I can confidently say that India will do fine without SRT but not without Laxman.

  • swaroopjammula on January 1, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @Ravi Sukhu:dont bash sachin.he is India's pride.many people say that in the first test he should have retained the strike.but if i am not wrong in mohali test vvs did the same when India require 80 odd runs to win.he gave strike to ishant.only after knowing that India came close to a win he kept the strike with him and that's the way it shoud be done.sachin did the same and unfortunately it didn't turn out as such.he coud not have scored runs had he kept the srike.he has to rotate it in order to avoid follow on.come on man it is bacuse of him and the bowlers we were in the 2003 wc finals and 1996 wc semis.I am not laxman hater as he is one key player for India.lets stop comparing our players.

  • Sulaiman_Dammam on January 1, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Why always peoples are very jelaous abt india's no.1 position...i really agree with monishjoshy comments....dears....india is eligble to be no.1 if you compare with any other teams form now...england is good test team....but they just started to win matches regularly....we r doing this since long time...thts why we r no.1....please don't be jealous....winning matches in sauth africa is not easy specillay conditions are favour to them...our win was not luck...it was great team effort...we proved we have also good pace attack....even if we lose next match....we r able to continue no.1 in the world....if we win at our home...all says home pitches....same for all other teams if sauth africa wins next match.....

  • Monishjoshy on January 1, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Luck only happens once, but talent prevails always, I saw some South Africans commenting that India's win was by Luck and Sreesanth got wicket by Luck. Are they so foolish for not thinking that India is number1 team by winning more number of matches than all other teams against all other teams. Sreesanth was instrumental in India's win in Wanderers where he grabbed 8 wickets and 18 wickets in total in that test series, Also Sreesanth was instrumental in test wins in Australia, WI, Srilanka, England etc....He has the best strike rate of 28 runs per one wicket, how could he perform consistently for last 6 years , Luck happens only once but he made major contributions in most of the India's wins abroad, even in 1st 20-20 Semi-Finals against Australia in SA, simply don't bully him because you people are just jealous of India winning matches in your own back yard.

  • Rajesh. on January 1, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    This guy is a class act........ he has always been !

  • shrusam on January 1, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    VVS is a class act. He was the captain in waiting when during Sourav's tenure. Dono why they chose Rahul over VVS. This great batsman, a great team man and a thorough gentleman still does not get his due share of respects and attention. Indians sports commentators have also missed to acknowledge this person's greatness. So has the marketing agents - have we ever seen VVS in an ad? Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Sree etc etc have value put on their names but not VVS. What a shame!!!! Rahul's absence can be filled in by someone like Pujara. SRT and VVS are irreplaceable.

  • on January 1, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    A look at the last two years test matches during which India achieved and retained the no.1 status shows that Veeru and Laxman are two players who have made the difference. Its easy to score centuries after someone like Veeru makes mincemeat of the bowlers. In a team game like cricket only the win matters. Individual achievements are of no use.

  • zainulabideen on January 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Almost every series India starts poorly and then they come back to their own rythm. The arrival of Zaheer Khan made world of a difference. Laxman is exceptional and the reason is he is so wristy like Mohamed Azharuddin and he is quite unorthodox. He will hit the balls bowled in the off stump to the leg side and he plays lots of cross batted shot. He is really the key batsman to hold the edge and is a threat to the opponents. ASK AUSTRALIANS how to get LAXMAN out - they are still searching for the answer.

  • Proteas123 on January 6, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Laxman made a big difference and rate him as the most dangerous of indian line up, but the ultimate difference was the poor umpiring which runed what was going to be a close game. Pitty UDRS was not used but then that would hurt India with umpires very reluctant to give out SRT and quite happy to give shockers to SA.

  • superislam2011 on January 2, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    after a long time india plays on a good bowling wicket ohh them dead indian cricket wickets

  • rahul_dec on January 1, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    @Des_65: That is why Laxman is a better player than SRT when it comes to bailing the team out of tough situation. If senior player like SRT cannot help his team mate to stick to the other end then what is the use of his experience. And on top of that he usually plays with the top order who are better batters than the lower order. Where as Laxman plays with the lower and still manages either to save a test or score a win from tough situations. If you observe closely, the tests in which India won when SRT played well, there are also other batsmen (top order) who have scored along with SRT. So SRT is no doubt a match winner but he needs support from the top order. Bowlers are supposed to support the batsmen to defend. Not only Laxman even SRT needs support from bowlers to defend a good total. Now you tell me who should be given more credit and who is playing for the team. I can confidently say that India will do fine without SRT but not without Laxman.

  • swaroopjammula on January 1, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @Ravi Sukhu:dont bash sachin.he is India's pride.many people say that in the first test he should have retained the strike.but if i am not wrong in mohali test vvs did the same when India require 80 odd runs to win.he gave strike to ishant.only after knowing that India came close to a win he kept the strike with him and that's the way it shoud be done.sachin did the same and unfortunately it didn't turn out as such.he coud not have scored runs had he kept the srike.he has to rotate it in order to avoid follow on.come on man it is bacuse of him and the bowlers we were in the 2003 wc finals and 1996 wc semis.I am not laxman hater as he is one key player for India.lets stop comparing our players.

  • Sulaiman_Dammam on January 1, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Why always peoples are very jelaous abt india's no.1 position...i really agree with monishjoshy comments....dears....india is eligble to be no.1 if you compare with any other teams form now...england is good test team....but they just started to win matches regularly....we r doing this since long time...thts why we r no.1....please don't be jealous....winning matches in sauth africa is not easy specillay conditions are favour to them...our win was not luck...it was great team effort...we proved we have also good pace attack....even if we lose next match....we r able to continue no.1 in the world....if we win at our home...all says home pitches....same for all other teams if sauth africa wins next match.....

  • Monishjoshy on January 1, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Luck only happens once, but talent prevails always, I saw some South Africans commenting that India's win was by Luck and Sreesanth got wicket by Luck. Are they so foolish for not thinking that India is number1 team by winning more number of matches than all other teams against all other teams. Sreesanth was instrumental in India's win in Wanderers where he grabbed 8 wickets and 18 wickets in total in that test series, Also Sreesanth was instrumental in test wins in Australia, WI, Srilanka, England etc....He has the best strike rate of 28 runs per one wicket, how could he perform consistently for last 6 years , Luck happens only once but he made major contributions in most of the India's wins abroad, even in 1st 20-20 Semi-Finals against Australia in SA, simply don't bully him because you people are just jealous of India winning matches in your own back yard.

  • Rajesh. on January 1, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    This guy is a class act........ he has always been !

  • shrusam on January 1, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    VVS is a class act. He was the captain in waiting when during Sourav's tenure. Dono why they chose Rahul over VVS. This great batsman, a great team man and a thorough gentleman still does not get his due share of respects and attention. Indians sports commentators have also missed to acknowledge this person's greatness. So has the marketing agents - have we ever seen VVS in an ad? Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Sree etc etc have value put on their names but not VVS. What a shame!!!! Rahul's absence can be filled in by someone like Pujara. SRT and VVS are irreplaceable.

  • on January 1, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    A look at the last two years test matches during which India achieved and retained the no.1 status shows that Veeru and Laxman are two players who have made the difference. Its easy to score centuries after someone like Veeru makes mincemeat of the bowlers. In a team game like cricket only the win matters. Individual achievements are of no use.

  • zainulabideen on January 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Almost every series India starts poorly and then they come back to their own rythm. The arrival of Zaheer Khan made world of a difference. Laxman is exceptional and the reason is he is so wristy like Mohamed Azharuddin and he is quite unorthodox. He will hit the balls bowled in the off stump to the leg side and he plays lots of cross batted shot. He is really the key batsman to hold the edge and is a threat to the opponents. ASK AUSTRALIANS how to get LAXMAN out - they are still searching for the answer.

  • on January 1, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    if there was udrs i knw it would be different that is d result

  • Des_65 on January 1, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    To Ravi Sukhu, etal. Please don't compare SRT with VVS. Take one example, the first test in the current series. What would have happened if someone from Dravid till Dhoni would have been not out till morning of Day 5 along with SRT. India might have added another 150-200 runs and would have either drawn the test match or challenged SA. Then SRT would have been a hero. Why the tail enders or other team members don't support SRT when he is playing well. That way India will always lose even if SRT bats well. Cricket like other sports is a team game. One person cannot do anything except in a T20 or an odd ODI. VVS looks good because tailenders and the bowlers support him. In the first test the Indian bowlers did not support SRT. They did not even checked the flow of runs from SA batters forget about taking wickets. So SRT's 100 n.o. will surely not look good at all.

  • Cricketfan100 on January 1, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    If anyone thinks INDIA is not #1 team than you can fix it very easy, either go to INDIA and win all matches or invite INDIA to your country and win all matchs. Very simple solution.

  • vinodtommy on December 31, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    1. one bad session for india in first test is lose of first test 2. sa captain smith tells out for amala in single time in 2nd test,india out amala twise cheaply. 3.After 1st test sa captain headwait comments are return to him. 4.I saw cricket is 1996 world cup, since now this durban win is the best win in outside the country with grassy picthes. well done indian test cricket team,we will win the 3rd test also

  • RameshSubramaniam on December 31, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    @ramsdevli: FYI, Mazundar is one of the profilic scorers in domestic cricket. I always put him in the same list as Sharth and now Badrinath. At one point of time, there are 7 karnataka players in the team. Whenever a team wins Ranji, then the team players scores runs and they get the nod. As far Sachin, he is not a natural leader and I guess he understands that now. No sub continent teams know how to make use/produce of an all-rounder. Robin (converted to a bowler), Mathews (Sankakara himself telling he is a batting all rounder and cannot expect him to bowl 10 overs but I dont see him no less than Kallis bowling). This is the same case for Agarkar as well. Once Cronje said India do not know how o use Agarkar? Whnever he comes up in the order, he scored. He is the best bowler at that time and is nothing to with Sachin.

  • NoCountry_for_OldMan on December 31, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    SL fans, it seems, are very jealous of team India and its major achievements under Dhoni such as winning the 20/20 WC, Champions Trophy, Tests at Perth, Jamaica, Durban, Headignley, P Sara Oval and Multan. If test matches are the main things as many accept than SL has failed miserably in the last decade. They had the team but could not do it. I mean if you can not do it with Muthia Mchuckridharan what chances do you have later. Plus, mahela and Sangkara show worrisome tendency of scoring only on familiar pitches.

  • on December 31, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    has the great tendulkar ever played a match winning knock for india?this guy deserves more praise.many times he has bailed them out,he shepherd the tail when the other guys have other batsmen to work with.he thrived under difficult conditions when others failed.why doesnt he been ranked with the best.everybody s talking about tendulkar,on a personal view i rate him him higher cause he has won matches for india single handedly n under extreme pressure also batting most times with the tail.

  • DesiCricketfan on December 31, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Laxman is known as Very Very Special. I am adding one more thing to his name and thatis Very Very Special LAD. This completes his full name. I hope people will start calling him this from here on. I feel good that i came up with this. Yeeeehaw. I am glad that i have seen every bit of Tendulkar and watched every game. I am grateful that i have also seen the FAB-4 batting. Ganguly(G), Dravid(D),Tendulkar (T) and Laxman(L).The GDTL, The Great Dominating Tenacious Lads of Indian Cricket. Guys ignore the comments and enjoy Wins of Indian cricket. Let people talk about our ranking, Let them be jealous and envy India. I feel so good when people complain about Indian ranking. I AM ENJOYING THIS.... Good Luck team India and just do your best we dont care what will be the result of the final game, go out there and have fun. Team India Rocks.

  • vparisa on December 31, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    India was not in any way lucky, they just played better in the second test

    a) They lost toss in both the test matches, Dhoni might lose his captaincy for a bad record with tosses.lol b) They had to bat on the first day of test match when the pitches were at their hostile best c) Zaheer khan missed first test with injury d) Gautam Gambhir missed second test with injury

    It would have been nice if Saffers batted in the first test, it would have been an Indian victory or a draw. India does not need luck to win any more.

  • ramanathanindiafans on December 31, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    VVS is a modern day great, he is so stylish, whe he bats its like listening to a very melodius song.

  • KENNETH2007 on December 31, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    Well played !!! wish all our top order batsmen had same mentality....and accomplishment...like him...then INDIA WOULD BE INVINCIBLE TEAM... AS OUR MAJOR WEAPON IS BATTING IT SHOULD BE COMPLETE .....

  • strikerhere on December 31, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    Hi pals, No comparison pls. VVS can not be compared with SRT as well as SRT also can not be compared with VVS. Both have survived INDIA many a times. we can say the more VVS strikes India wins but do remember SRT always strikes well and some time we lost and many time we made draw. VVS was also good in one day format remember the time VVS had consecutive centuries (3 out of 5 matches series) against AUS when AUS had a threatening bowling attack but despite his centuries he kept a side of ODI's. He is fantastic and continuesly proving him self and had match winning innings in Tests. So selectors had no chances of keeping him aside. Likes to have him even in ODI's. Thx.

  • Crazy_Cricket_Fan on December 31, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan@ r u out of your mind...even 5th grade kid wont buy your story..

  • on December 31, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    vvs lakshman was one of the best player in test cricket i agree he was an match winner to india but he was not the only one

  • on December 31, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Why does the tail play better when VVS is at the other end..? cant imagine why.. In the first test the tail did not put up a fight when sachin was batting at the other end.. really well played VVS.

  • IPL_is_Thrash on December 31, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    With all due respect to other's opinion, I believe Kolkata 2001 Test was the best ever win in Indian Cricket History. My memories are still fresh about that match even though I didn't watched it live.

  • Monishjoshy on December 31, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    India is far better than all other teams in the World . Both their batting and bowling departments better than all other teams. India could not win so many matches by just having the batting power house, India has the bowling power power house to acquire 20 wickets in any wicket. Had the wicket in Centurion retain the same Character till the end, India should have won the first test as well, contrary to that the pitch was very good bowling track on the first day and turned to good batting pitch when the moisture got dry by healthy sun shine. India could grab the series, if the pitch in Cape town retain same Character till the 5th day, otherwise who ever wins the toss would have the advantage

  • on December 31, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    @SamAsh07 I can't agree with you more. But we found Zaheer, Laxman, Sachin, Dravid etc., after Kapil, Gavaskar retired. We have a strong domestic structure so I am positive that we will be able to field a decent team after they retire. But one thing is for sure. These 4 can't be replaced!

  • on December 31, 2010, 12:28 GMT

    I would really like to, actually LOVE to, hear from those cricket historians who predicted that India ain't gonna win any match, let alone the series. Ohh... Please, don't hide your faces. Please say a thing or two now.

  • on December 31, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Very Very Special Indeed. I hope VVS was just 20 years old. I cant imagine Indian team with out VVS. I think the reason behind India being at no 1 position was him. What if if we would have lost with Srilanka, Aussies and now. I am sure we would have lost our position. With all other Gods of cricket in our country he too become one of them. He might have lost his captaincy for Deccan Chargers, or he might not get any place in Indian one day team but he got a better place in every Indian's heart as their savior of hopes in the cricket field. Thank you VVS may god bless you.

  • slowerball on December 31, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    India might be affected more when VVS retires, than when SRT retires.

  • AshanD on December 31, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    It's good to praise VVS. But why SRT was bashed? SRT was blamed always when he fails to maintain his own standard he himself created…. If not………..Are we succeed in our life everything we do without fail? Believe me we fail quite often than SRT in life being the the best. Please praise the one who does well without despise others. SRT is one of the greats No Doubt about that cheer him What if VVS fails tomorrow? Encourage him. Tks

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    Laxman is a very special cricketer with special skill to help the team to win in difficult situation.Our upcoming young cricketers should learn from him how to handle pressure situation and how manage low order batsman will definitely take the youngsters to next level in any form of cricket.I confident that Laxman will also help the youngsters in this regard!

  • PPL11 on December 31, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    Well all in all india showed world no 1 is not gained by only luck as no team can remain no 1 for year or two.. So please accept it gracefully india rocks..... Regarding SA they even showed what makes them no 2. They still needs to work harder to gain no 1.

  • Karthik.Muthuveeran on December 31, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    @Werner Geyer: u said that Indian supporters were looking for excuses for the poor performance in the 1st test....but after the 2nd test, its the SA team, their supporters and media is making excuses for the lose...saying that poor umpiring cost the match or umpire Steve Davis caught drunken on field....

  • on December 31, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    it is very unfortunate that VVS does not get the same media publicity as Tendulkar. VVS has converted a possible defeat to victory many times, but I cannot say the same with Tendulkar. How can any cricket lover forget the innings he played against Australia with Dravid as his partner in the 2001 series in India.A follow on was converted to a victory score.

  • SamAsh07 on December 31, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Indian team is filled with oldies which are goldies, however, when these oldies DO retire, India might be in for a decline or maybe not, time will tell. Same goes for South Africa, imagine South Africa without Smith, Kallis, Boucher & other oldies.

  • on December 31, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    He is a true match winner.. and he is the one who is making the tailenders to learn batting so why the indian tail wags a lot..he will be a outstanding coach post retirement...

  • shameerpvt on December 31, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    Its nice to see if VVS is added to one-day team of India... Shameer, Colombo

  • Marcian on December 31, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    A wonderfully gifted batsmen - marvellous, no other words to describe. But, mostly he is humble and down-to-earth like Sachin, Dhoni, Viru and Zaheer! cant say that about the rest of the Indian team. A great fight back but win the series first and then boast about it. I have never seen so many fans trying to defend the number one ranking team in the world. Australians and West Indian fans never had to do that...it was so obvious that they were the BEST and UNDISPUTED!

  • cricketPrasad on December 31, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I am hyderabdi and proud of Laxman and he really amazes me with his cool and attitude. But, let us not pull Sachin every time we talk about others. How many times sachin took the teams all the way, how many times every body else got out when Sachin was not out till the end of the match. If he plays well and completes the winning runs then it is a good batting wicket. The problem is whenever a batsmen makes few contributions they gets lot of praise where as with Sachin people think by default he is supposed ot make a century.. Write any long about other players but dont say bad about Sachin..

  • ultimatewarrior on December 31, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    As VVS Laxman is batting in his super form and Rahul Dravid is not showing his prime form why not interchange the batting position of both i.e. Laxman at 3 and Dravid at 5. It can help Dravid to restore his form as well as India to utilize VVS maximum. We can't afford Dravid to retire but will be more suitable at 5th. Further bring Badrinath and Rahane in its bench instead of going with Raina or Murli Vijay.Go India to win the series and show the world you are Real World No. 1.

  • arun_cheers on December 31, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    @baskar_guha - agree to you 1000% ... India is lucky to have him for such cricketers are rare. If I am given an option to meet one cricketer in this Indian team, its VVS Laxman ! A true legend ! You have made the indians really proud with another memorable innings in your typical style.

  • DocBindra on December 31, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    I love it, no matter what India does, they never get any credit. If they win at home, the wicket was too flat...hmm, I'm sorry but wasn't the wicket "flat" for both sides? When they win abroad, they either got lucky or the opposition threw their wickets away. Didn't India get the worst of both pitches in both tests by losing the toss? Would have loved to see SA score 600+ batting first up, even without Zaheer. Haters, just give respect and move on, if you guys have nothing nice to say, just abstain. Kudos to VVS, he was THE MAN, the entire test match bar none. India, please get "lucky" in Cape Town and keep getting lucky in the future.

  • on December 31, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    @Dil_Cricket_Fan That is the most hilarious comment I have ever heard. Let me tell a lil' quote. "Those who believe less in themselves, believe more in luck". We believe in our team and you believe in luck. That is why you have sloggers like Afridi and Razzaq in your team who click every once in a while!

  • on December 31, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    As a SA supporter, I have no problem saying that India was by far the better team in Durban. Unlike the Indian supporters, who was looking for excuses for the poor performance in the 1st test, I can give credit where it is deserved. @ Nampally, you are talking about gracious losers yet you guys were talking trash for days on end after the 1st test. Look at your own house before throwing stones at another. You also mention about luck. Since when is taking 20 wickets luck my friend?? If it was luck than we cant talk much about the Indian batting. Test cricket is dying because of the shorter formats but tests like these and the ashes shows us all that test cricket is very much alive. So instead of negative comments rather enjoy the cricket between 2 very good teams

  • Karthik.Muthuveeran on December 31, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    @AKG0479: Well said. Sachin in the best.

  • Yorker_ToeCrusher on December 31, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan ..LOL u must be a genius...pheeww

  • screamingeagle on December 31, 2010, 6:33 GMT

    This response to D(u)ll Cricketfan.. Sir, thankyou for the silly and childish comments. I do understand your disgust at India winning, but there are other ways of showing your disappointment.

    Luck? SA had all the luck. I wont start on that.Others have already talked of that.

    Anyway, come back when India closes out the series and tell us how lucky they were.

    Bye dude.

  • anver777 on December 31, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    A century would have been more memorable & special one for VVS !!!!! nevertheless a classy performances from a classy test player......like he said, certainly the best match for VVS in his career !!!!!!! Keep Scoring...........

  • on December 31, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Very Very special Laxman is a great player , never got his due and what he deserves. I wish him more of these kind of innings and best of luck for successful year 2011 and career ahead.

  • ramsdevlis on December 31, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    a fact conveniently forgetten was Sachin's hands at poor selection when he was captain. He championed the cause of a number of maharashtra/mumbai cricketers. Samir dighe, Abey Kuruvilla, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Amol Mazumdar, Jatin Paranjpe, and of course Ajit Agarkar. T. Kumar bowled well and exceptionally well during the tour matches just to be overlooked for Agarkar again and again. Thank God he is not captain. How could have Jatin Paranjpe got selected of Sharath or Sriram or even Amol Muzumdar. Mystery. I expected an interview from Sachin the same lines as KP talking about how him giving up the captaincy helped England victories.

  • shaantanu on December 31, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    i dont understand why SL fans r having heartburn.the first sarcastic comment here has to be a lankan.i would have understood if they were hard done by with the rankings.they sud be thankful enough tht they r no 3 in the rankings without even a single test victory in SA,Aus and India.they r a gud one day team.test cricket outside SL,forget it.

  • on December 31, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I agree with BKyogi, VVS and Zaheer have been two stalwarts in Indian victories. SRT is a magnificent batsman but his luck ran out while winning matches for India or captaining India to glory.

  • Sontenam on December 31, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Laxman and Kumble have been great match winners and intellects!

  • bhushan_india on December 31, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    The comments about Zahir Khan are indeed heart warming. We have a good fast bowler, who is spearheading the unit, in a true sense, that the other fast bowlers are guided, helped well, and that transmits on the field. The aggression on the field was evident, as they believe in their ability. Zahir/ Srisanth/ Harbhajan were undoing the SA batsman, and they were falling in trap. It was indeed a very good show from the bowlers. I was overjoyed to see the Express Delivery from Srisanth that blow off Kallis on 4th morning, and that set the tempo of the match. That was great.

  • Willowarriers on December 31, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    I seriously hope the Indian lads contine in the same vein. Reading some of the comments from some of these Aussies, English fans etc... it does appear they still think India does not desrve the No 1 rank. Lol! That "expert" Ian Chappel and a writer for Cricinfo - Peter English all seem to share the same view...

    Not sure what it will take for these doubters... There is an embedded feeling that Indians cannot be 'that' good.... I really do hope the lads read some of these comments if for no other reason than to really make a statement and shut some of these wagging tongues...

    India has the financial coffers at their disposal --- pls pls pls use it judiciously this one time.... travelo in advance for tours, get practice games in, build and use the most hi-tech equipment possible... do what ever pls to really show these guys! God speed...

  • infaz9999 on December 31, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    yeah! really like this player although i am Srilankan supporter played blinder of innings and made that big win that indians wanted. even made a cracking knock against SL to won the third test match! when indians were 40-3 .. think he should get the publicity! as Tendulkar ... think srilanka and india will be the finalist in 2011 WC hope for the best!

  • PallathZ on December 31, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Laxman has hit the nail with his comments and reinforces the perception the general viewing public who loves the Game has & definetly generations down he will be remembered as someone who has helped his country in Winning matches from difficult situations.A decade after the Eden heroics,he still goes about doing the same.Its worth to note that,He averages close to the Perceived Best Batsman in the history,Sachin,when it comes to playing SA/AUS/PAK & nearly there when itz NZ.Its only against the minnows like BD/ZW where he hasn't done well.Almost on par when it comes to playing in Overseas conditions.He has turned into a very dependable resource for the Team & has played a definitive part when it comes to Winning matches.A great team man he could have been a Great Leader.As its said of Shane Warne,he could have been Best Captain India never had.Anywayz its not easy to be a LAXMAN.As Chappell probably coined,he truly indeed is Very Very Special & supporting our glorious RAM's .

  • No1IndCricFan on December 31, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    That is why you are Very Very Special boss. Keep it up... we are proud of you

  • gladsn on December 31, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Zaheer's comeback i this match played a big difference.. But not many people talked about his contribution with both the bat and ball...I feel his presence in centurion could have made a lot of difference in its result.. Congrats India!!!Proud of you guys..

  • on December 31, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    One of the most humble person and most profilic batsman in my list even more than tendulkar, for he never plays for records , only plays for the country and his team. Technically he is the best , proven by his performance at home or abroad, whether spinning pitch or grass wicket. there is no question , But most under utilized, for the best position in no. 4, but politics plays its own role

  • Raaakz on December 31, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan... aha!!! very good observation... expecting more of such things from u, sir... (hope u got the sarcasm in my message)

  • on December 31, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    @dil_cricketfan if u can count smith n amla's wickets then what about every wicket of sehwag.he always gives his wicket n as u think if he will never throws his wicket ,he will make enough runs that will keep india on top. so mr. cricket fan never the how they out when they out.............understsnd.......????

  • shrikm on December 31, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Like Australia, India will lose all the experienced guys in Test cricket, like SRT, Dravid, Laxman and the next group except sehwag will take some time to perform at the bigger stage and as the first test showed that without one good bowler the bowlers looked like club level bowlers, where both amla and kallis belted them.

  • swaroopjammula on December 31, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    @AKG0479:you are very correct sir.laxman is a very good batsmen .no doubts whatsoever.now if u look at the test in mohali which was won by India srt scored 213 runs in first innings.if those runs werent scored then what happens. so every scored by every batsmen is important and losing sachin in the near future will be a big blow.also in sa India grew in confidence only after the 50th century of srt.

  • on December 31, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    If individual records matter Tendulkar is your man; if the team matters VVS is your man. VVS volunteered to open when no one else did and in doing so jeopardized his career and gave up the opportunity to pad his record and safeguard his career. When VVS says the team comes first he means it. When others say team comes first they usually mean after their own record and place are safe.

  • Point4 on December 31, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    VVS is in the best phase of his career.Time to think about promoting him to No:3 where he always wanted to bat especially since the wall seems to have stopped growing.May be he should come at 5(Dravid) and pujara at 6.another batsman too needs to be groomed WITH the team for Dravid's impending retirement.But Laxman always plays away from his body right from Ball 1 and it may cause early demise at No:3.......between Dil_cricketfan which mental asylum are you from..it must be having the worst nerds in the world...

  • on December 31, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan: I think u r out of ur mind after watching SA lost the match.... thank god ur not a cricketer i'm sure ur not even regular cricket follower.....

  • killbillgbu on December 31, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    It is still not clear to me when people call VVS one of the best 2nd innings champions or One of the match winners. Isn't he "the best 2nd inning champion" and "the greatest match winner" that modern world has seen? I cannot think of anyone else!!

  • Graeme_Pollock on December 31, 2010, 1:37 GMT

    VVS is a truly special player no doubt but he would be the first to concede that Zaheer is the MVP in this Indian side. For all that the batsmen, including Laxman, have done over the past decade, the critical reason for the increase in Indian wins overseas - and therefore India's ascendancy to #1 - is Zaheer's wily bowling. It is great to see him nurture the less experienced fast bowlers in the team while also continuing to pick up wickets despite dropping his pace. This way he could slowly transition the new ball to people like Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma, while continuing to remain in the side as a "bowling captain". It is critical for the success of the Indian side that Zaheer remains in the team for as long as possible. The most dangerous type of bowler is one who out-thinks the batsman and Zaheer is now a master at that.

  • on December 31, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    VVS is a special batsman and an extraordinary exemplary person, very humble and modest with his achievements. He has bailed India out of so many difficult situations so many times. He is one of the fab three , every one of these 3 is special in their own way. Laxman will be more remembered for his 2nd innings exploits and the way he was treated by the selectors at times , he was the person that the selectors came hard upon whenever there was some one to be dropped or when India did not do well. He has carried on with grace and always made his bat do the talking. His shot selection was superb today in this innings and the way he just carried out with the tail was just fantastic. He makes the indians proud all over the world the way he carries himself on and off the field. I for one would love to watch VVS no matter what the situation of the match is. He gives us hopes no matter how hopeless the situation. Dravid and Tendulkar needs to tighten up with their short selection. We'll do wel

  • on December 31, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Two superlative innings on a wicked pitch and high quality fast bowling! Since cricket is a team sport everyone else contributed too, some (like VVS and Zaheerand Dhoni) more than others but still all need to be on the same page. Commiserations about missing your 1st Test hundred in South Africa but you'll eventually get one---perhaps Durban? Good luck!

  • baskar_guha on December 31, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    VVS is an amazing cricketer who should be measured by the intangibles -- his artistry, his calmness, his shot selection, his respect for the game, his sacrifices for the team cause, and his love of country. India is lucky to have him for such cricketers are rare.

  • cricPassion2009 on December 30, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Nice interview and message from VVSL. In particular analysis of team attitude between Centurion and Durban is striking and shows that VVSL has a good understanding of the finer aspects of the game. And not to foget mentioning, his view of Zaheer Khan is spot on. Okay guys focus on the next test. Cape Town brings memories of Azhar vs Klusener/Donald, and Sachin's masterpiece knocks. Good luck to both teams.

  • Caveman. on December 30, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan: Sir, you are a pure genius. Who else could have come up with such an idea.

  • AKG0479 on December 30, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    If I have the option to put it this way.. SRT kept India out of pressure 109 times in tests (50 Centuries n 59 Half Centuries).. in 170 odd tests.. more to follow yes there might have been times when he got out, but look at the larger picture.. the consistency rate.. VVS has done it many timesn he is a match winner but at the same time all match winners not necessarily need to score the winning runs.. ! For those who have witnessed SRT batting through the 90's will know what it means to lose him... !

  • Nampally on December 30, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    @ Dil_cricketFan: The lucky ones are the south Africans. In the both tests they bowled on a very hostile wicket on Day 1. Also these wickets were made to order to suit the SA bowlers - 100%. Secondly SA did not have any injuries in either tests. India unluckily played minus their star bowler Zaheer in first test and their star opener Gambhir in the second. Thirdly, the SA media & coach kept on playing staged psychological & verbal war games. Even if India had won the toss in both the tests, India would have won in both the tests - series over. The simple truth is Zaheer out foxed SA batsmen and Laxman out played SA pace bowlers in both innings.India played as a team & beat SA fair & square. Smith is a poor loser and is blaming the poor SA batting which was caused by good bowling & catching.If India repeat this in the third test they will win again. This is why India is ranked #1 team in tests. South Africans, incl. Smith, must learn to be gracious losers.This is Cricket Sir!.

  • scorbos15 on December 30, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    You dont need any milestones Laxman, you are a proven match winner - that is all it matters.

  • manish79 on December 30, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Looking at the history, Durban is indeed not a happy ground for Indian batsmen. Even this test match was not a high scoring one. But all is well that ends well. Laxman really played a match winning inning.

  • BKyogi on December 30, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    it is very unfortunate that VVS does not get the same media publicity as Tendulkar. VVS has converted a possible defeat to victory many times, but I cannot say the same with Tendulkar. How can any cricket lover forget the innings he played against Australia with Dravid as his partner in the 2001 series in India.A follow on was converted to a victory score.

  • on December 30, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    I'm not worried about Tendulkar and Dravid retiring. I do think we have replacements who can be at least half of what they are now (not in their prime). But I'm definitely worried about Lakshman retiring, for I don't see anyone in the horizon who can do at least 10% of what he is doing now. That mental composure only comes with experience. How can you train a new person to work with the tailenders without getting flustered and throwing away their wicket. I really hope we can train one within the next 2 or 3 years.

  • on December 30, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    expecting more from you in future, vvs! beat them n return to india!

  • Cricket_4_Blood on December 30, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    Fortune favours the brave & India win by luck. Actually India did not bowl well but the S.Africans gave away the wickets. For e.g. Smith's & Amla's wickets. More than that when the bowler is Sreesant you expect how he must have taken the wickets (only luck but no skill) Perhaps the S.Africans must have purposely lost the match to boost India's confidence so that they can face a challenging contest for the final test.

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  • Cricket_4_Blood on December 30, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    Fortune favours the brave & India win by luck. Actually India did not bowl well but the S.Africans gave away the wickets. For e.g. Smith's & Amla's wickets. More than that when the bowler is Sreesant you expect how he must have taken the wickets (only luck but no skill) Perhaps the S.Africans must have purposely lost the match to boost India's confidence so that they can face a challenging contest for the final test.

  • on December 30, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    expecting more from you in future, vvs! beat them n return to india!

  • on December 30, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    I'm not worried about Tendulkar and Dravid retiring. I do think we have replacements who can be at least half of what they are now (not in their prime). But I'm definitely worried about Lakshman retiring, for I don't see anyone in the horizon who can do at least 10% of what he is doing now. That mental composure only comes with experience. How can you train a new person to work with the tailenders without getting flustered and throwing away their wicket. I really hope we can train one within the next 2 or 3 years.

  • BKyogi on December 30, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    it is very unfortunate that VVS does not get the same media publicity as Tendulkar. VVS has converted a possible defeat to victory many times, but I cannot say the same with Tendulkar. How can any cricket lover forget the innings he played against Australia with Dravid as his partner in the 2001 series in India.A follow on was converted to a victory score.

  • manish79 on December 30, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Looking at the history, Durban is indeed not a happy ground for Indian batsmen. Even this test match was not a high scoring one. But all is well that ends well. Laxman really played a match winning inning.

  • scorbos15 on December 30, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    You dont need any milestones Laxman, you are a proven match winner - that is all it matters.

  • Nampally on December 30, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    @ Dil_cricketFan: The lucky ones are the south Africans. In the both tests they bowled on a very hostile wicket on Day 1. Also these wickets were made to order to suit the SA bowlers - 100%. Secondly SA did not have any injuries in either tests. India unluckily played minus their star bowler Zaheer in first test and their star opener Gambhir in the second. Thirdly, the SA media & coach kept on playing staged psychological & verbal war games. Even if India had won the toss in both the tests, India would have won in both the tests - series over. The simple truth is Zaheer out foxed SA batsmen and Laxman out played SA pace bowlers in both innings.India played as a team & beat SA fair & square. Smith is a poor loser and is blaming the poor SA batting which was caused by good bowling & catching.If India repeat this in the third test they will win again. This is why India is ranked #1 team in tests. South Africans, incl. Smith, must learn to be gracious losers.This is Cricket Sir!.

  • AKG0479 on December 30, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    If I have the option to put it this way.. SRT kept India out of pressure 109 times in tests (50 Centuries n 59 Half Centuries).. in 170 odd tests.. more to follow yes there might have been times when he got out, but look at the larger picture.. the consistency rate.. VVS has done it many timesn he is a match winner but at the same time all match winners not necessarily need to score the winning runs.. ! For those who have witnessed SRT batting through the 90's will know what it means to lose him... !

  • Caveman. on December 30, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    @Dil_CricketFan: Sir, you are a pure genius. Who else could have come up with such an idea.

  • cricPassion2009 on December 30, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    Nice interview and message from VVSL. In particular analysis of team attitude between Centurion and Durban is striking and shows that VVSL has a good understanding of the finer aspects of the game. And not to foget mentioning, his view of Zaheer Khan is spot on. Okay guys focus on the next test. Cape Town brings memories of Azhar vs Klusener/Donald, and Sachin's masterpiece knocks. Good luck to both teams.