Laxman is right handed batsman and occasionally bowls off-spin as well. He is popular for his exquisite stroke playing ability and especially against the spin bowling. He has a touch of Mohammed Azharuddin, who too had a magical wrist action while playing shots. He typically fields in the slips or in a bat pad position.
Laxman has some incredible records against Australia, in both tests and one day internationals. As of November 2011, he has scored 6 out of his 17 test hundreds and 4 out of his 6 ODI hundreds against Australia. He has two double-centuries in tests, both of them against Australia: his personal best of 281 at Kolkata in 2000-01 in the famous Eden Gardens, and 200* at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium at Delhiin 2008-09. Inspite of his great cricket talent he has never represented India in a Cricket World Cups.
Career of VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman made his debut in Test Cricket against South Africa at Ahmedabad in 1996. Somehow he was not able to cement his place in the side. Later he was asked to open the innings for India, which he continued for three years, but with no consistent success. In January 2000, he scored 167 runs against Australia at Sydney, a rare high point for Indian Team in an otherwise disastrous tour. In the Australian tour he did pretty well against the lethal bowling combination of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. But he decided to return to domestic leagues and get his act right as an opener. As a result he was dropped from the side, only to be recalled in the later part of 2000 and found a spot in the side in the series against Australia in 2001. This series against the Aussies changed his cricketing career for good. He played some exquisite cricket right through the series and even scored his career best score of 281 in the second Test at Kolkata.
This series at home helped cement his place for the next few years in the team. He played in both the Tests and ODI formats, and his good run continued well against Australia in the 2003-04 series as well. He hit three ODI and two Test centuries in the 2003-04 series against Australia. His first century, the 148 runs in the second Test at Adelaide came in a triple century partnership with Rahul Dravid. India won the Test match, which was their first Test victory in Australia in two decades. The second one came at Sydney, also a triple century partnership, this time with Sachin Tendulkar. His form began to decline after the Aussie tour and was eventually dropped from the team.
In December 2005, Laxman steered India to a fantastic victory against Sri Lanka with a brilliant century. In June 2006, VVS again rescued India from a tricky situation against the West Indies with a hard toiled century. In November 2006, Laxman scored 73 in the second innings of first Test against South Africa where he was selected as Vice-Captain of the side. That knock helped India to claim a historic 123 run win. Laxman produced three first-class innings in the 2007 tour of England, two half-centuries and a crucial 39 runs that eventually helped India draw the first test at Lords. He passed the 5000 run landmark in the first day of the final test.
In India's home series against Pakistan in 2007, V.V.S. Laxman once again proved his worth to the team with well curved batting performance right through the series. He then toured Australia and made great contribution with the bat. His 109 runs inning at controversial Sydney Test was special and helped his team to get back into the contest. It was his 12th hundred in Test matches, and his 5th against Australia. He followed his good work with a gritty knock in Perth Test, well assisted by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rudra Pratap Singh, which helped India to win the Test match to create a record as previously no Asian team had won a Test match at Perth.
In 2009, Laxman continued his top form. He scored 76 and 124 in the 2nd Test at Napier in New Zealand. In 2010, in a Test match against South Africa held in Kolkata, he scored 143 in a record stand for the seventh wicket with Dhoni. He crossed the 7000 runs mark in Test cricket during the innings. Eventually the test was won by India in the last 10 minutes of the match.
Laxman assisted India to square the series with Sri Lanka in August 2010 when he hit 103 not out in the run-chase, resulting in a five-wicket win in the Third Test. He was adjudged the Man of the Match.
In October, he once again turned a match on its head with his bating antics. The match that appeared to be heading towards a comfortable Australian victory, in the First Test in Punjab Cricket Association Ground, Mohali, Laxman rescued the team. Inspite of his back injury, he took Suresh Raina as his runner, and fought his way through. He and batted with the paceman Ishant Sharma and put on 81 to take the total score to 205 before Sharma got out. Last man Pragyan Ojha then managed to survive as the hosts completed a one-wicket win. Laxman ended on 73 not out.
Batting and Fielding Averages
Laxman, has over the year played some outstanding knocks for India and made his country proud. Though he is out of the ODI team, but he still has some years of test cricket still left in him.
Awards Received by VVS Laxman
* Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award, 2011
* Arjuna Award, by Government of India in recognition of his outstanding achievement in sports, 2001.
* Wisden Cricketer of the Year: 2002.
* He is one of the few cricketers to score the most number of centuries (3) in a single ODI series.
* His innings of 281 against Australia at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2001 was ranked sixth in Wisden's list of 100 great Test innings in the history of the game.
* He has the record of taking the most number of catches (12) by a non-wicketkeeper in a single ODI series. He shares this record with Allan Border.
Personal life of VVS Laxam
VVS studies at Little Flower High School, Hyderabad. Both his parents father Shantaram and mother Satyabhama, are renowned doctors. He married G. R. Sailaja from Guntur, who is a post-graduate in computer applications, on 16 February 2004.
Retirement of VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman retired from international cricket on 18th August 2012 leaving behind an enormous gap to be filled up by the younger players. He, however, will continue to play in the domestic seasons like Ranji Trophy matches for Hyderabad and will also participate in the Board of Control for Cricket in India organized Indian Premier League.
|More Articles in Indian Cricket Players (298)|