‘Confidence level changed after that’: VVS Laxman recalls ‘best part’ of 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia
VVS Laxman also praised Harbhajan Singh for his role in the match and the series. The off-spinner had picked up a hat-trick in the first innings of the Kolkata Test, and finished with 32 wickets in 3 matches in the series.Updated: Jun 16, 2020 10:12 IST
Former India batsman VVS Laxman on Monday recalled the historic 2001 Test match against Australia in Kolkata in which he scored 281 to help India to a win from the brink of a defeat. Australia had been travelling on the back of 15 straight wins and had defeated India in the first Test in Mumbai. A defeat in Kolkata would have meant that Australia would have won the series.
After India were asked to follow-on, Laxman stitched a partnership of a lifetime with Rahul Dravid, who scored 180, to put on a target of 384 runs for the Aussies to chase. In reply, India bowled out Australia for just 212 on the final day to win the match by 171 runs and level the series. They went on to beat Australia in the 3rd and final Test in Chennai to claim the series.
“We immediately had to go to Chennai. There was very little time to celebrate, but it felt like the whole country was celebrating along with us after that victory,” Laxman told the Times of India in an interview.
Laxman also praised Harbhajan Singh for his role in the match and the series. The off-spinner had picked up a hat-trick in the first innings of the Kolkata Test, and finished with 32 wickets in 3 matches in the series. Laxman also praised captain Sourav Ganguly for showing faith in young Harbhajan.
“For a youngster making a comeback into the team, it was brilliant. Of course, he got a lot of confidence from Sourav, who backed him to the hilt because there was no Anil Kumble or Javagal Srinath,” Laxman said.
“It was very tough to hit Bhajji the way he was bowling. The best part was Bhajji taking a hat-trick. The confidence levels suddenly changed after the hat-trick. Some brilliant catches as well,” the former India star further recounted.