Another superstar of Indian Cricket, VVS Laxman, hanged his boots from international cricket with immediate effect after rendering his services for 16 years.
He was the second batsman who said goodbye to International cricket after the wall of India, Rahul Dravid, announced his retirement earlier this year.
Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman was born on November 1, 1974, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, a right hand batsman and an occasional right arm off spin bowler. He has played for India, Hyderabad (India), Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Lancashire and Deccan Chargers.
Laxman was a competent batsman who had the ability to take the team out of danger during his career. He demonstrated his batting skills against all Test playing countries and scored 6 centuries against the most lethal bowling attack of Australia. His timing and placement of the shots were a treat to watch and even the most feared bowlers across the globe found it hard to dismiss him cheaply.
The ‘Very Very Special’ Laxman was a pillar of the Indian batting as the majority of his innings were a source of stability and victory for his nation. He made his debut for India in the first Test against South Africa on November 20, 1996, at Gujarat Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad. The big names in the world cricket, Sanjay Manjrekar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin were part of the team as well. The stylish strokemaker scored a fifty in his first match which was won by the hosts by a margin of 64 runs.
The right hand batsman took part in 134 Tests for India, hammered 8781 runs at an excellent average of 45.97, the best of 281 with 17 centuries and 56 fifties. Seven of his tons brought victory to the nation, eight ended in a draw and India lost two where he scored a century. Below, we will highlight the matches where Laxman scored a ton and earned a win for his country.
1- 281 vs. Australia on March 13, 2001, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Australia – 445 and 212
India - 171 and 7-657 declared
Result – India won by 171 runs.
2- 148 vs. Australia on December 14, 2003, at Adelaide Oval.
Australia – 556 and 196
India - 523 and 6-233 wickets
Result - India won by 4 wickets.
3- 140 vs. Zimbabwe on September 14, 2005, at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe – 279 and 185
India – 554
Result - India won by an innings and 90 runs.
4- 104 vs. Sri Lanka on December 19, 2005, at Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad.
India – 398 and 9-316 declared
Sri Lanka – 206 and 249
Result - India won by 259 runs.
5- 143* vs. South Africa on February 16, 2010, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
South Africa – 296 and 290
India - 6- 643 declared
Result – India won by an innings and 57 runs.
6- 103* vs. Sri Lanka on August 7, 2010, at P Sara Oval, Colombo.
Sri Lanka – 425 and 267
India - 436 and 5-258
Result - India won by 5 wickets.
7- 176* vs. West Indies on November 15, 2011, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
India - 7-631 declared
West Indies – 153 and 463
Result - India won by an innings and 15 runs.
Laxman played his inaugural One Day International vs. Zimbabwe which was won by the Blue Shirts by 32 runs, on April 9, 1998, at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. He played 86 matches, scored 2338 runs averaging 30.76, the best of 131 with 6 hundreds and 10 fifties.
VVS Laxman was included in the Test series against the visiting New Zealand due to be staged in August – September, 2012. He preferred to call it a day before the start of the series and vacated his position for an upcoming youngster. His services for the Indian cricket will be remembered forever and it will take time before the vacuum created by him can be filled.