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'My mind has played a bigger role on this tour'

"The disappointment of missing the World Cup will always be there but at the same time it was yet another learning curve in my career," says VVS Laxman in an exclusive interview to Srinath.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2004 01:35 IST
PTI

"The disappointment of missing the World Cup will always be there but at the same time it was yet another learning curve in my career. Brooding over the issue was not my agenda as I became more resolute to face the facts of life," says VVS Laxman in an exclusive interview to Javagal Srinath.

Srinath: There is suddenly a transition in your career. Your tremendous form has continued from the Test matches to the one-dayers. Have you made any changes in this particular series?

Laxman: First of all, I am really pleased with the team efforts and satisfied with my quest to do well. A win in the Sydney Test match would have been ideal for our efforts. Personally, I have played the game with freedom and responsibility within my strengths and weaknesses. My mind has played a bigger role on this tour. I was determined to build my innings.

Srinath: You have been tried in every slot in the Test matches and the one-dayers. What do you say?

Laxman: Opening the innings never came naturally to me, so I was inconsistent. I was caught in a double mind, not sure whether to play my shots or to see the shine off the ball.

Whenever I failed to deliver, the selectors branded me as a non-regular opener and tried regular openers. During the South African series in India I was dropped again. After much contemplation, I decided that I was a good middle-order batsman and not an opener.

I expressed my reluctance to open to the team management. Thank God I realised well in time about things I could do and or not do. There has been a steady progress in my game since the Zimbabwe series. Now, I am confident about what I am doing and how I should be going about things.

Srinath: The selectors were regularly dropping you for the one-dayers. What could be the reasons for that?

Laxman: I am still evolving in the one-day format. I wasn't rotating the strikes easily. At the same time, I was never given a consistent run. Although I realised it a little late, I have worked hard on the requirements of the one-day game. Ever since 2001, I have been able to analyse it well and my approach at the moment is much better in the shorter version of the game.

Srinath: But you were not picked for the World Cup.

Laxman: The whole world understands the significance of the World Cup. Disappointment of missing out the World Cup will always be there but at the same time it was yet another learning curve in my career. Brooding over the issue was not my agenda, as I became more resolute to face the facts of life. My family members bailed me out of dejection.

Srinath: Tell us something about your understanding with Rahul Dravid.

Laxman: A lot has already been said about it. The truth is that we know each other better in the middle than in the dressing room. It has become a habit for us to stay at the wicket together right since we were playing under-19 cricket. The trend continued in Duleep Trophy and other representative matches. Our understanding with each other has produced some great results for the country.

First Published: Feb 05, 2004 01:26 IST