Numbers play a key role for professionals in many spheres of life. For an accountant the world revolves around them, in a way, so too for numerologists. Most cricketers also fall into that category. Of course, VVS Laxman isn’t like most cricketers.
Numbers mean little him, impressive as his numbers may be they can't quantify the true measure of his greatness.
If ever an opposition brings out the best in him, it's Australia. 2279 runs at an average of over 55 in 25 Tests against them, and 1081 at 54 in 11 Tests Down Under tell a story, but not the whole story.
So when during a press conference he is told of his unimpressive numbers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where he has only scored 111 runs in three Tests at 18.50, he doesn't bat an eyelid. “I'm quite happy with the way I've played at (the MCG), even though the scores don't reflect that ... I was quite comfortable," he said.
When asked if he is looking to improve his record at the MCG, he nonchalantly replies, "I always dreamt of doing well in Australia. It has wonderful grounds. I wish to score those hundreds which help the team win.”
There's nothing Laxman likes more than winning in Australia. That, however, is a sensation that's alien to him or any Indian cricketer for that matter. As he looks to help the Class of 2011-12 create history by becoming the first team from India to win a series in Australia, he is confident that opposition woes or not, India can get the job done.
“There is a lot of talk that this is the best chance to win but we are confident with the potential and the talent in the side and believe we can win the series. We can defeat any side anywhere in the world.”
When told of former Australia skipper Mark Taylor's somewhat disparaging comments, where he says India's elderly trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and himself have managed to stay in the best of form because of playing on flat sub-continent tracks, while Australia's elder statesman Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey have struggled on the more harder and bouncier tracks Down Under, Laxman simply disagrees.
“That is the view point of Mark Taylor. I don’t really react on what other people think. I am happy we have been able to perform in conditions and delivered everywhere except for England which was disastrous for various reasons.”
“I think Australian surfaces are best for batting, I relish batting in such conditions. There is true bounce and you get value for your shots,” Laxman says.