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Very, very special partner

Laxman has been instrumental in the finest stands India have ever forged, writes Subhash Rajta.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2008 23:33 IST
New Delhi

There's something special about VVS Laxman when it comes to Australia and building partnerships. The stylish batsmen has played his best knocks against the Australians, and has been invariably involved in the biggest and most significant partnerships India have forged in Test cricket, especially against the Aussies.

In keeping with what has become a habit with him, he strung together another record breaking partnership against his favoured opposition at Kotla on Thursday, amassing 278 runs with Gautam Gambhir, breaking a long-standing fourth-wicket record at Ferozeshah Kotla. This partnership gives Laxman the distinction of being the only player in the world to share 200 plus partnerships against Australia on four occasions, with three of them being in excess of 300.<b1>

Of the 300 plus partnerships, the most famous is obviously the one he shared with Rahul Dravid in Eden Gardens, where the duo put together 376 runs to engineer the come-from-behind historic win for India. The other two came in Australia, accounting for 353 in Sydney and 303 in Adelaide. And when asked if he was chasing another 300 plus partnership against the Aussies when he and Gambhir crossed 250-run mark, Laxman said it was definitely on his mind. "I was aware of that and told Gautam that we should get the fourth one. It would have been great if we could achieve it, but unfortunately Gautam was dismissed. Anyways, he batted brilliantly," said Laxman.

But what makes him such a successful partnership man? "Nothing much, I just keep telling the other person to keep going, and somehow it just works," said Laxman. But it can't be as simple or coincidental as he made it sound. After all, how often we have heard players showering praises on their partners for helping them concentrate hard on the job at hand and excel. In that light, Laxman is the best partner one could hope for.