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October 06, 2010

As long as VVS Laxman is there, miracles do happen in Test cricket.

It was a very, very special moment for India, as well as the cricketing world when our favourite “Very Very Special Laxman” stole victory from the jaws of defeat right under the Aussie’s nose in the first of the two Test series ensuring India retain the Gavaskar-Border Trophy. This is not the first time he has pulled the cat out of the bag and certainly will not be the last time either. The victory landed in India’s lap after the Aussies almost bagged it.

Ponting, on the verge of securing his first Test win on Indian soil helplessly witnessed Laxman foil his attempt with the utmost ease and disdain. What exactly is the supreme power or of Laxman? Why does he always shine against the mighty Aussies, and then too when the chips are down? Perhaps the answer is “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. The Aussies are the masters of giving the opposition tough times, and Laxman is beyond doubt the toughest. Popularity wise, he is the last amongst the leading Indian cricketers, plays only the traditional Test format, and comes in late just before the tail begins to wag. He might have earned the least in comparison to his fellow cricketers through endorsements, but only a fool can dare not to endorse his unique batting abilities. He has earned what has eluded the rest - the respect of the masses and of every international cricketer, past or present.

To most, it may look like Laxman is the “unsung hero of Indian cricket” but this is a misconception. His name is forever there on every Indian supporter’s lips as he is watched with awe and respect, India’s last ray of hope in every innings. An untiring tormentor, he is also the Aussie’s “sung villain”. With a lesser batting average compared to the best in business, how come the expectation on Laxman is always high? It is purely due to the timing of his knocks. Always coming at the end of the innings, making the end seem far, most of his stints at the crease are under duress and in severe crises, resulting in nothing but stellar performances.

At his best, Laxman is a treat to watch even for the cricketing Gods. An artist at work, his silken touch place him on a high pedestal. His surgical precision remind all that he was once a medical student. Popular for piling runs with almost a nonchalance, he repeated this feat in his latest innings par excellence. His magical touch ensures good deliveries are turned into bad ones, making him a unique batsman who does not have to wait for bad deliveries to be punished. When this supposedly unsung hero is on song, the most difficult situation appears the easiest.  Today's knock was well composed by a composed batsman!

When Dhoni lost the toss at the spin of a coin by calling tails wrongly, none could have imagined that VVS would make the Aussie’s head spin in the company of the Indian tail. In these days of limited overs cricket, plus fixing and other controversies which test cricket, it is players like VVS who ensure Test cricket holds its head high and continues to pull in crowds and gain their trust. Laxman has played many a great innings, but this one will go down in history as one of the greatest ever. Not able to bat freely in the first innings due to a stiff back, Laxman was forced to bat in the second innings when defeat stared India squarely in the face. With no respite from his backache, Laxman carried on to earn India a dream victory without giving a moment’s rest to his spine. By doing so, he has reconfirmed he is the backbone of Team India not just yesterday and today, but for times to come. Laxman has yet again proved miracles do happen

The Aussies have achieved everything sans crossing this “Laxman Rekha”!


  • nagendra kishore sunkara
    nagendra kishore sunkara
    10.10.10 03:27 PM
    patriotc team sportive grit,concentration,determination and patient endurance of vvs is superb.utilising the talent with cool,calm,composed nature with devotional spirit is real source of inspiration and motivation for one and all .three cheers n crores of fans cheers to vvs.
  • Sarath
    09.10.10 10:23 AM
    A great tribute from a Prolific writer Balantrapu 'Venkat' to a Prolific batsmen Vangivarapu 'Venkat'Sai Laxman.
    I happened to watch the post lunch session on day four and it was the most memorable test win for India.With such matches being played cricket lovers will come back to watch test cricket.A great innings by VVS.
  • umapoems
    06.10.10 11:17 PM
    well written...good post

  • Subramanyam Chandra
    Subramanyam Chandra
    06.10.10 07:11 PM
    When the chips were down and so was the morale, this proverbial Phoenix rose from the ashes to resurrect the Indian innings.
    Vangipurappu "Veera" Venkatasai Laxman has time and again shut the critics up by playing such timely knocks.He has a lucid and languid style but is brutal in making a good bowler look ordinary.I added the word Veera to his name as he has shown true courage amidst ruin.Thanks Venkat for a lovely and timely article on this die-hard Indian batsman who never gives up!
  • AussieDesi
    06.10.10 04:02 PM
    I salute VVS for displaying tenacity, grit and determination - qualities that are often associated with the Aussies (witness them taking 9 wickets and pushing for an unlikely victory!).

    I have admired VVS' silky skills over the years - one of a few Indian batsmen to have great success playing outside the subcontinent - but feel that he is always playing for his place in the Test side. He is not accorded the opportunities that others have been.

    His Test career will most likely not last much longer - but I am glad to read in your article that he carries the respect and admiration of the "ordinary" Indian fan forever.
  • KParthasarathi
    06.10.10 11:30 AM
    It is a well deserved and rich tribute.Lakshman is non-pareil beyond comparison with others.A test cricketer in the true sense, he plays the game with a panache and style that is alluring.More often than not,he has risen to the occasion to save India from ignominy of certain defeat.I cricket is evaluated on the soundness of play and style, VVS stands on high pedestal.Thank you Mr Balantrapu for the beautifully written piece.
  • Barnaby Haszard Morris
    Barnaby Haszard Morris
    06.10.10 11:30 AM
    I just watched the last twenty minutes of the match on YouTube - what a classic. This is why I love test cricket above all other forms.

    Laxman's innings was incredible, but for me, Ishant Sharma's sounds like it was even better. He faced 70% of the strike during their partnership!

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