Had never seen Laxman so angry: Suresh Raina recalls memorable win against Australia at Mohali in 2010
Raina recalled the first Test match against Australia in 2010 at the PCA stadium in Mohali. In That Test match, Laxman had played brilliant innings battling back pain to take India to a 1-wicket victory over Australia in a nail-biting finish.Updated: Jun 02, 2020 20:41 IST
If there is anyone who could have given Rahul Dravid a run for his money for the best-behaved Indian cricketer tag of the late 90s and early 2000s, it has to be VVS Laxman. The Hyderabad batsman who was known for his wristy flicks and rescue works in the second innings was someone who rarely lost his cool on the cricket field. A part of the fav four of Indian batting line-up with Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly being the other three, Laxman earned respect all over of the world not only for his batting but also because of the way he carried himself on the field. But there were moments when even he lost his cool.
India batsman Suresh Raina revealed one of those instances when Laxman could not control his anger on the cricket field. Raina recalled the first Test match against Australia in 2010 at the PCA stadium in Mohali.
In That Test match, Laxman had played brilliant innings battling back pain to take India to a 1-wicket victory over Australia in a nail-biting finish.
“Laxman had a back spasm so I had to go in as his runner. I had never seen Laxman so angry. He was like ‘Run Ojha Run!’ Before that Ishant Sharma was there with him. Mitchell Johnson was reversing the ball.
Raina, who was in the crease as the runner of Laxman towards the end of the Indian innings, said he was prepared to put his body on the lime to save Laxman’s wicket.
I was prepared to dive for anything. I had decided that I’ll dive if I have slightest of doubts because Laxman had to stay there,” Raina told Aakash Chopra in a YouTube interview.
Chasing 216 for victory on the final day, India had lost 8 wickets with only 124 on board. With 92 runs still required, Laxman only had Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha for support.
From that situation, Laxman stitched an 81-run stand with Ishant for the ninth wicket. Ishant was dismissed for 32 when India needed 11 runs to win.
Laxman, who was by then forced to take a runner, was seen yelling at No.11 Ojha to scamper through for singles as the idea was to retain the strike in every over.
The experienced campaigner struck an unbeaten 73 and Ojha survived (5) as India reached the target with a wicket to spare to go 1-0 up in the series.
Raina, who had made his Test debut a few weeks ago in Sri Lanka, had also scored an important 86 in the first innings of that Test match.