VVS Laxman has won admirers across the cricketing globe with his artistic play and ability to come good under adverse conditions.
On Tuesday, he floored none other than legendary Graeme Pollock - the man Don Bradman rated as the finest left-handed batsman to have played the game. "I think this guy is highly underrated. He's a star player. He seems to have lots of time against all bowlers and hits the ball well. That's the yardstick you judge a batsman against, I think he's fabulous."
Pollock sounded really impressed with how Laxman handled the bounce and seam, which, he felt, isn't at all easy for someone brought up on the low and slow sub-continent tracks. "He looked unhurried. He appears balanced and technically very sound."
Conditions and attacks don't appear to mean much to this man from Hyderabad. Whether he's facing the wily spinners on the low and turning Colombo track, or the Australian pacers in the sporting Mohali wicket, or Steyn and Pollock in fast bowler's haven, he simply keeps churning out those typically gritty knocks. "All batsmen score in good and favourable conditions, but the real test of class lies in adverse conditions where one has to work hard."
How Laxman soaks in pressure and goes about his job without betraying any nerves also puts him high on the radar. "Temperament is the most important thing. There are a lot of guys with lots of ability, but they buckle under pressure."
Laxman's positive approach and ability to take charge of the situation also score with the past master. Laxman may not be the same attacking batsman he was a few years back when he would go for strokes right from the start, but his intent still remains very positive. "People tend to think that batting is about not getting out, but for me it's about taking control and turning the game over. You need the players who dominate and turn the game on its head under pressure," said Pollock.