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September 14, 2005
VVS Laxman has hit out at the critics who doubted his ability as an international batsman. Speaking to the media after his eighth Test century, against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo, Laxman said: "There has been some negative vibes in the team and outside and I just wanted to prove myself."
Laxman was scathing at the critics who questioned his presence in the one-day squad, with some even doubting if he was fit to retain his position in the Test side. "It's really unfortunate. It's unfair to put pressure on a single guy. There are different criteria for different guys. But then, that's been the way with me throughout my career. Right from the start of my career where I was branded as a Test player then given the chance in one-dayers, that's been the case with me throughout.
"However, I try to go out and do what I can control. If I take undue pressure then I wouldn't be able to concentrate on the game. If I feel that I have been unfairly treated, I would lose focus on the game. That's why I am trying to be as positive as possible."
Laxman's unbeaten 125 put India in command of the game, as they ended the second day on 325 for 3, already 46 ahead of Zimbabwe's total. When he got to 39, Laxman reached a personal landmark of 4000 runs in Test cricket. He also figured in a 130-run partnership for the third wicket with Rahul Dravid, who scored 77. Talking about his innings, Laxman said: "I got off to a slow start because I felt I needed to build concentration. After that, it was a matter of treating carefully an attack that was not really up to the mark. Whatever the circumstances, I was delighted to get another century and I want to add a lot of runs to that when we resume."
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