Laxman Saves The Day For India
In October 2008 Sambit Bal had written, “At his sublime best, VVS Laxman is a sight for the gods. Wristy, willowy and sinuous, he can match - sometimes even better - Tendulkar for stroke play. His on-side game is comparable to his idol Azharuddin's, yet he is decidedly more assured on the off side and has the rare gift of being able to hit the same ball to either side.”
All this and more came into play when India was set a target of 257 runs by Sri Lanka at P Sara Oval, Colombo, in the last test match of the just concluded series. India was 4 down for 62 with three of their top batsmen gone, and defeat was a certain possibility at that moment.
Then came a very useful partnership of 109 runs between the master batsman Tendulker and Laxman, however, when Tendulker departed at the score of 171 India was not out of the wood yet.
A lot was riding on Laxman, the unsung hero of India who never received the accolade that is due to him, because he had never been consistent like his more illustrious partners. Even in this series many questioned the selector’s wit in keeping him in the side; nonetheless, at the end the selectors were vindicated for it was him who stood between Sri Lanka’s series win and salvation of India’s glory.
Ask the uncrowned king of the game of Cricket, the team from the land of the kangaroos, and they would vouch that Laxman is a one-man demolition team when he gets going. Arguably, no man has single handedly snatched victory for India from the jaws of defeat as many times as Laxman had done, and Sri Lanka has learned that now at Colombo.
When Laxman was at the score of 60, in the 52nd over of the match, he fell down on the ground squirming with a debilitating back pain. The physio came on the ground and treated him, and Laxman decided to continue to play with a runner, since he knew India’s fate was in his hands.Continued on the next page