This was perhaps the right time for the Indian selectors to pick Hyderabad’s VVS Laxman and drop a couple of players to send the message that their places are not to be taken for granted. With the team struggling to find a number three batsman and the middle-order not being consistent, the 31-year-old Laxman’s experience would have given the team strength.
Laxman was thus flabbergasted at being overlooked for the one-day series in South Africa. Talking to the Hindustan Times from Hyderabad, Laxman said: “I am disappointed. I was hoping to be selected for the South Africa ODIs, especially as the team was looking at someone solid at number three.”
Selection chairman Dilip Vengsarkar said on Monday, when the team was announced in Mohali, that Laxman wasn’t fit enough to play limited-overs cricket.
“How can the selectors say I am not fit?” said Laxman, who will complete a decade in international cricket in the coming month. “I have been doing regular gym sessions and have been swimming too. I am following the schedules given by Gregory King (the India trainer).”
Laxman had just finished a gym session and was heading to the swimming pool when HT reached him for his reaction.
The stylish right-hander, who is certain for the three-Test series in South Africa, said he has been among the runs in the domestic circuit. “I have got runs in Duleep Trophy,” he said. “I scored a 50 in the second innings against West last week. I am preparing for the next Duleep Trophy game (against Sri Lanka ‘A’ from November 4 to 7).
“Now that I am not in the ODI team, I am keen to get as many runs as possible in the lead-up to the Test series. Besides two Duleep Trophy fixtures (the other if South Zone enter the final), I will have two Ranji Trophy matches to gain confidence from before the trip to South Africa.”
Laxman is not giving up his mission to play ODIs again. He has an eye on next year’s World Cup.
“I still have the dream of playing in a World Cup,” said Laxman, left unceremoniously out of the last edition of the tournament in South Africa. “I do not know if that will be realised. But I will not give up.”