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Laxman excited at County face-off with Warne

VVS Laxman says he misses his duels against Shane Warne and is keen to take him on when batting for Lancashire against Hampshire next week.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, London
UPDATED ON AUG 18, 2007 03:49 PM IST

VVS Laxman says he misses his duels against Shane Warne and is keen to make the most of the opportunity to take him on when batting for Lancashire in the County Championship match against Hampshire next week.

Warne, the Hampshire captain, was at the receiving end of Laxman's magical wrists during the last three encounters between India and Australia.

But Test cricket's highest wicket-taker who was reduced to an average bowler by the stylish Hyderabadi player, won't come face to face when the Indians tour Down Under in December-January, having retired from international cricket earlier this year.

The County match, at Old Trafford from Tuesday, provides the fans with another chance to witness the two great masters of their respective crafts cross swords with each other and the Indian star is excited about the prospects.

"Luckily I have one more opportunity against him," said Laxman who cast an everlasting spell on his Aussie rival with a record-breaking innings of 281 during the historic Kolkata Test in 2001.

"It's always great to come up against a legend like Warne, and I am obviously looking forward to facing him again. You just always have to back yourself to do well against people like that," he was quoted as saying by Manchester Evening News.

"That innings of 281 was a very big influence on my career. To come back and win a game like that gave the whole nation a belief that we were strong," Laxman said reliving the cherished memory.

"Now that has gone, I want to do well for Lancashire. I always look forward to playing against such top class players. There is real satisfaction about playing well against these bowlers."

The match will mark Laxman's County debut although he has played in a minor league in 1995. The Indian is playing as a replacement for Australian Brad Hodge.

Manchester, which is home to a significant Asian population, would be expecting Laxman to be in full flow following his impressive show with the bat in the Test series which India won 1-0 against England.

"It has been a great few weeks for the team and for me. It is an honour to have been part of the win in England," said Laxman who made 205 runs at 51.25.

"I have been happy with my contribution because I have been consistent, even though I didn't get a big 100 in three matches. I want to continue that consistency, and play some good innings for Lancashire."

"We are very close to being near the top of the table, and it would be fitting to end my stint in England by winning the title with Lancashire at the Oval."

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