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Laxman haunts Aussie bowlers

In 12 Tests against Australia VVS Laxman has accumulated 1,334 runs at an average of 63.52.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2004 16:19 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Australian bowlers are becoming sick of the sight of VVS Laxman.

The fluent 29-year-old Hyderabad right-hander again tormented Steve Waugh's Australians with a vintage knock of 178 off 298 balls studded with 30 boundaries.

Laxman dedicated his century to his parents and retiring Australian captain Steve Waugh.

"I would like to dedicate this hundred to my parents, who have been a great source of inspiration for me," Laxman said.

"And also to Steve Waugh because this is really memorable for me because this is his last Test match and he has been a great inspiration for me, watching him play always gave me a lot of pleasure."

In 12 Tests against the team that had dominated world cricket Laxman has accumulated 1,334 runs at an average of 63.52.

He has scored four of his seven Test centuries against Australia and has featured in three 300-plus run partnerships against the world's best team, twice with Rahul Dravid and on Saturday with Sachin Tendulkar.

"I respect both of them as players and individuals and it's always a great learning experience batting with Sachin. We've had some good partnerships in one-day internationals," Laxman said.

"When you're at the non-strikers' end and you're watching the best batsman in the world play, it's an on-going learning process for me."

Laxman rated Saturday's innings as one of his best.

"You are scoring a hundred in Australia, any overseas hundred is very special to me, and against Australia it definitely gives more satisfaction.

"There's nothing I can pinpoint," he said. "It's really satisfying to be getting runs against the best bowling attack in the world, but I think it's just a coincidence (to score big against Australia)."

Vangipurappu Venkata Sai (or "Very Very Special") Laxman, an exquisite stroke player, flourishes against Australia.

His career highlight is the 281 in the famous second Calcutta Test of 2001, which turned the series India's way, but he has also made scores of 167 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1999, 148 in Adelaide earlier in this series and 178 in the fourth Sydney Test.

Laxman surprisingly rated his 75 in the first innings of the opening Brisbane Test as his best effort of the series.

"The best knock for me on this tour was in Brisbane. I was playing really well rhythm-wise in Brisbane, but it's always good to get a hundred."

Laxman and Dravid (180) became national sporting heroes for their decisive role in India's famous 171-run win over Australia at Eden Gardens in Calcutta in March 2001 with their match-turning 376-run fifth wicket partnership.

India were forced to follow on after trailing by 274 runs on the first innings, only for Laxman and Dravid to turn things around with a belligerent 383-run lead to dismiss Australia for 212 and claim a legendary fighting victory.

Laxman and Dravid again combined in a 303-run fifth wicket partnership that overcame Australia's 556 first innings to win the second Adelaide Test of this series.

And in his latest triple century stand he added 353 runs for the fourth wicket with Tendulkar in the biggest Indian Test partnership in Australia and the biggest for the wicket in all Tests at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Laxman reached 1,000 runs against Australia in Adelaide -- in his 10th Test against Australia -- the same as pre-war England batting giants Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe.

First Published: Jan 03, 2004 14:27 IST