Ricky Ponting was aware of the fact that VVS Laxman could make the difference between winning and losing, despite having India reeling at 55 for 4 at the end of Day Four.
“Last night, I told a few guys over dinner that we must beware the wounded player and, batting down the order, I felt he would make a big contribution today,” Ponting said.
Laxman batted with tail-enders, Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha, to stitch together the 92 runs required for the victory after India lost Sachin Tendulkar for 38. “A few guys were thinking he is below his best and struggling with injury,” he added. “You could see the effect of the injury when he played in the first innings. But he batted beautifully today. He also has the knack of finding boundaries when needed,” said the Australia captain.
Man of the Match, Zaheer Khan, too praised Laxman’s efforts saying the batsman had pulled India out of trouble despite pain. “VVS innings was very, very special. He has pulled us out from many such situations and I have no hesitation giving my MoM award to him. Winning is important for us as a team and yes, I would give my award,” he said.
Ponting said his boys played a good Test and it hurt to see the team end up on the losing side, but added that they will now have to focus on the next game in Bangalore and try and get a good start.
“There’s no doubt we are disappointed . The dressing room is very quiet at the moment, but we will have to bounce back from this.”