Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval, 5th day August 7, 2010

Dhoni hails "very very special" Laxman

Cricinfo staff

MS Dhoni was full of praise for VVS Laxman, calling him "very, very special", after the latter's sublime century helped India win the third Test and level the three-match series against Sri Lanka.

Laxman finished with an unbeaten 103 and got enough support from Sachin Tendulkar (54) and Suresh Raina (41 not out), to propel India to a five wicket win over Sri Lanka.

"He (Laxman) proved today why he is called very, very special," Dhoni said. "He always comes up with innings that have a huge bearing on the game. It was very important for him to score runs as the team needed it most to level the series. I think it is a very special innings. Hopefully, he plays plenty more innings like this for us.

"I think the way he batted he paced his innings really well. He was struggling a bit with back spasm but still he wanted to go on without a runner. But after lunch there was a time when he had to go for a runner. I think there was pain and there was pressure at the same time," he said.

Dhoni also singled out the contributions from Tendulkar and Raina, who smashed Chanaka Weledegadara for six over long-on to bring up the victory.

"I think Sachin too batted really well and after he got out, Raina came in and supported Laxman. Raina batted well. In the initial few balls he played a few big shots but after that he calmed himself down and batted sensibly."

According to Dhoni, coming back to draw the series meant both the batsmen and the bowlers had done their jobs. "If we had lost this series it would have been because of our batting line up not performing really well,' he said. "If it was a draw series which meant that both the batsmen and the bowlers did decently."

He added that the bowlers couldn't really be blamed for not taking wickets as there wasn't much help from the pitches, especially for the fast bowlers.

"I think in the first Test the batsmen could have done much better. I cannot really complain about the bowlers because in all the three Test matches we bowled first on a fresh track where there was not much help for the fast bowlers initially or the spinners. But this was one track where there was a bit of help for the spinners right from the very first day," he said.

Suraj Randiv was the only Sri Lanka bowler to threaten India on the last day, and finished with figures of nine for 162 in just his second Test. But Dhoni said India had enough experience to handle the problems Randiv posed.

"Randiv bowled really well. But we have got a batting line up where most of the players have played over 100 Tests. Or some are very close to playing 100 Tests. So, they are experienced enough to make their own plans."

Dhoni said India's strategy on the last day was to see out the initial overs, after which the ball got soft, making batting a whole lot easier.

"The first few overs were very important because the ball was quite hard which meant the spinners got a bit of bounce and turn. We just wanted to go through the initial overs and play our shots when the ball gets soft."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Osaid on August 12, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    @Balumekka you call that a test innings? batting against the bowling similar to that of nursery kids, that batting is even easier than sitting back on your computer and enjoying the ea cricket game on beginner mode

  • khurram on August 9, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    i m back guys i never hate indian team or fans here but i was just trying to alarmed that bet me india will lose to aussies mainly due to sachin, laxman, dravid and harbho. if u really think i do not have any idea abt cricket then wait only time will tell then u will realize who is making fool of himself. believe me these old horses will not retire even after losing world cup 2011 it will be u guys who will force them to do so then we will confront with each other. believe me that is the problem of sub continent teams we only realize reality once we loss in bigger occassions. tell me number of world cups or champion ships or any major tournament (to which tendulkar was part of it) india has won since sachin debuted then how come he is the best player.

  • Kamaljeet on August 9, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Lax is indeed "Very Very Special", most of the time in his career he played at No-6 with tail enders and still able to manage 47+ average. Now he is settling down at No-5 position and hope to see him to play for atleast another 2 to 3 years till the time we have couple of youngster getting settled in test matches. Suresh Raina is promising and hoping same kind of results from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

    I was amaze to hear from SL fans at the start of 5th day morning that Indian are not good player of spins. Well over several years we are playing spin and improvement in playing fast/swing bowling doesn't mean we forgot to play spin. Sachin and Lax showed the same on 5th day and helped India square the series.

  • Pradeep on August 9, 2010, 2:43 GMT

    I see comments saying "if Murali was there, things would have different" Murali is gone, he has retired. No worth even mentioning his name here. Need to move on... Great team effort by Team India...amazing victory..VVS, Sachin proved why they are 2 of the best test batsmen in the world...WAY TO GO TEAM INDIA !

  • Ram on August 8, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    VVS is really very very special who has brought so many laurels to our country under very very trying conditions very often. Batting at No.6 as long as Ganguly was within the team and now batting at No. 5 will have trenedous pressure since after No.6, but for Cool and Excellent Captain - Dhoni, all others are Bowling All-rounders.

    Fabulous Five (Batting)- Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly and Sehwag have brought so many laurels to our country and because of their contribution , India has become World's No. 1 in Test Cricket.

    At the same time Fablous Duo (Bowling) - Kumble and Harbhajan have equally played their outstanding roles in making India - World's No. 1 in Test Cricket.

    All these stalwarts have served our country for more than a decade. All these stalwarts need to be 'Honoured' by our Country,

    Sachin - Deserves 'Bharat Ratna' and then only that award will have the real meaning. Sachin is proud son of our country. All our players are 'GEMS'.

  • Anil on August 8, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Laxman is a rare talent one will not see again and again..its just we are lucky. When is in full flow its like music or words to discribe.He might of score many more runs if he was selected fairly and given the No.3 position he rightly deserves. I completely agree that ''VVS Laxman's records may easily be over taken, but they cannot be replicated''.We were completely amazed and entertained by you for more than a decade ,thank you VVS!!

  • Alex on August 8, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    Tendulkar is stat obsessed overrated Fool. He was always selfish. He got out again in second innings. Without the two tigers VVS laxman and raina , india would have lost.

    I think Bounce from randiv suited VVS as he always play well against aussies also because of the bounce aussie bowlers creates.

    Sachin was playing badly against randhiv ...and choked again.

  • Rajesh on August 8, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    Hope this great batsman gets his due credit at least hereafter..... What a player !!!!

  • SRINI on August 8, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Funny, no captain questions the ranking system when his team is on top! To trash the system saying it cannot be understood easily is a sign of sour grape attitude. It is not rocket science! Do all the winners of all the awards really understand how the ratings are computed?

    The simplest way to be No# 1 is win series against all the teams home and away. Only the West Indies and Australia have done it at sometime or the other.

  • Sathish on August 8, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    Mr.Paddy mohan, please sir go and watch sachin's statics in cricinfo and then comment. Which country you are from? you r telling SRT is over rated ha ha good joke, all the indians will spit at you, if you show your face.Brother think and give your comment k.

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