It is hard to remember the last time any journalist saw VVS Laxman angry or walking out of a press conference.
On Tuesday, he did just that. The Hyderabad batsman walked out of an interaction with the media during a promotional event where the scribes had been asked to stick to questions concerning the event when somebody broke the diktat and asked him why, according to him, he had been left out of the World Cup squad.
“I am disappointed,” said Laxman. “As I was recalled for the last one-dayer against South Africa. I was hoping that I would be selected for at least two ODIs against West Indies. But I wasn't. I feel the management is trying to prepare a combination for the World Cup and unfortunately they feel I don't fit in.”
Excerpts from an interview:
How disappointing is it not to make it to the World Cup again?
It is disappointing. I have always said that playing a World Cup is my ultimate dream. Even then, I haven't stopped working hard. I will always keep working on my game. God willing, I will get an opportunity.
Did you talk with Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell about your desire to play in the World Cup?
Everyone knows that has been my dream. But unfortunately, since we have came back from South Africa no one has got in touch with me and that is quite sad.
Having achieved so much over the years, does the World Cup still hold the same importance?
Definitely, playing the World Cup has always been on top of my wishlist since I have never participated in one. Having played both forms of cricket at the international level for so many years, not getting the opportunity to play in a World Cup can be quite disappointing.
How do you react to statements that your batting style does not suit the one-dayers?
I don't think there is any problem with my batting. I think the selection committee is more worried about my fielding and running between the wickets. I have been working on both these areas. As far as my batting is concerned, it is suitable for both forms of the game.
I have always maintained a high strike rate in the one-dayers. So, there is no problem.
What have you been doing about your running between wickets?
I have been working on my fitness. I have been training continuously according to the schedule prepared by trainer Gregory King.
You are one of the best catchers at slips. Yet, your fielding has always been criticised. You think slip fielding should be appreciated?
Obviously, slip fielding is a major part of one-day cricket. There are 20 overs where fielding restrictions are enforced. There will always be catches coming at slips.
So, do you feel the bad fielder tag on you is not justified?
I agree I am not the quickest fielder in the country. But at the same time, I think I am not the worst either.
Do you think India can win the World Cup?
I am sure. The positive point is that batsmen have been among the runs and. If they can post good totals, our bowlers have the depth and experience to defend them.