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VVS Laxman - 15 years of Cricket Career

Hyderabad, 5 November 2011: VVS Laxman (Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman) or Very Very Special as his fans describe, completes his 15 years of International debut in cricket for India. One of the most reliable and talented test cricketer for India in the recent times, Laxman made his Test debut in 1996, scoring a fifty against South Africa at Ahmedabad. Here is a collection of his 15 most remembered innings for India.

1) 51 against South Africa in Ahmedabad (1996 November 20)
In his debut match against South Africa he scored only 11 runs in the first innings.  But in the second innings of that low scoring match, he scored 51 (125) and helped India to reach 190 runs.  Including Laxman’s 50, only two half centuries were there in the whole test match. Chasing a target of 170, SA all out at 105, by a fiery spell by Srinath who took 6 wickets.  Laxman began the saviour of pressure situations from his debut match itself.
2) 167 against Australia in Sydney (2000)
His linking for the Aussies attack started in Sydney where he notched up his first Test century in a losing cause. Opening the batting against the bowling line up of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne at their best, he pulled and cut anything short with impunity, combined with his graceful drives.
3) 281 against Australia in Kolkata (2001)
Wisden rated it as the 4th best innings of all time. A knock that spanned 10 hours 31 minutes not only took India to victory but also to the record books for being only the third team to win a Test after being asked to follow on.  In the first innings, he was the last man out scoring 59 (83) spending 122 minutes and in the same day he started his second innings.
4) 154* against West Indies at Kolkata (2002)
In a high scoring match, while India were struggling at 87/4 in the second innings, Laxman put 154*(396) and helped India to reach 471/8 in the end of that match.
5) 148 against Australia in Adelaide (2003)
India were 85-4 when the pair of Laxman and Dravid once again stood up to the Aussies and helped India record a famous win Down Under. They added 303 runs for the fifth wicket. , which was their first Test victory in Australia in two decades
6) 104 * and 67* against New Zealand at Mohali (2003)
Chasing NZ’s 630, India were all out at 424..Laxman remain unbeaten at 104.  Following on and India were at 18-3 in 12.5 overs. Laxman and Chopra helped India to end at 128-4 in 59.3 overs.  Laxman again unbeaten at 67.  Match drawn.
7) 178 against Australia in Sydney (2004)
India’s huge total of 705/7 was rich with centuries and half centuries.  But that was from a score of 194/3, when Laxman came and put 178 to reach at 547/4 when he was out.  Match draw.
8) 100 against West Indies at St. Kitts (2006)
Chasing West Indies’ 581, Laxman scored 100 in the first innings and 63 in the second innings to earn a draw.
9) 200 against Australia in Delhi (2008)
India were 157/3, laxman(200) and Gambhir (206) put 278 partnership.. Laxman remain unbeaten 200(301) in a score of 613/7. In the second innings he was unbeaten at 59
10) 124* against New Zealand in Napier (2009)
NZ took 619.  India were struggling at 165/4, Dravid (83) and Laxman (76) helped India to reach 291. Laxman was the last man to out.  Following on , India earned draw by scoring 476/4, Laxman 124* (212).
11) 143 * against South Africa at Kolkata (2010)
His knock helped to take a huge lead (347) against South Africa and posted to India’s victory by innings and leveled the series 1-1.
12) 103* against Sri Lanka in Colombo (2010)
Chasing a fourth innings target of 258, India were 62-4 when Laxman, hindered by back spasm, walked in and waxed lyrical. The batsman’s silken touch and inner steel negotiated the turning track and his own physical battle to take India to an improbable win.
13) 73* against Australia in Mohali (2010)
Chasing 216 in the fourth innings, this knock displayed the maturity of VVS Laxman in shepherding the tailenders while chasing down a tough target under tremendous pressure.
Laxman was suffering with a back problem and needed Suresh Raina as his runner.  India were trouble at 124/8. Laxman helped India to a thrilling one-wicket victory with Ishant 31(92) and Ojha 5(10).  He batted at No.10 in the first innings due to injury.
14) 96 against South Africa in Durban (2010)
Laxman stood tall against the South African pace battery of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe who were bowling with venomous fury on a pitch tailormade for them. His fighting 96 helped India to 87-run victory, their first in Durban and only second in South Africa.
15) 91 against New Zealand (2010)
In the second innings when India were struggling at 15-5 & 65-6 in the 35th over, Laxman 91(253) and Harbajan 115(193) helped India to reach 228/7 in the 90th over. Match ended in a draw.  

15 Facts of VVS Laxman
1) A man who helped his team to gain a victory while 'following on' in test cricket.
2) His 6 out of his 16 test hundreds were against Australia the No. 1 test team.
3) 4 out of his 6 ODI hundredswere against Australia the No.1 ODI team.
4) Has two triple century partnerships in tests, one with Sachin and other with Rahul
5) A man is compared with Azhar in his style and with G. Viswanath in his match saving inningses.
6) Has high average of 52 in the second innings of the team than first innings 45
7) Average in the winning matches is 53 and drawn match 63
8) Playing at position 5,6 in many occassions (almost 100 times), keeps an average of 48.
9) He was enrolled as a medical student but chose cricket over a career in medicine.
10)  Second Indian after Tendulkar to score more than 2000 runs against the Australians.
11) Laxman is a slow runner between wickets .
12) He has played 100 Tests but  never played in the Cricket World Cup.
13) Laxman was awarded with Padma Sri in 2011.
14) Laxman is the great grand nephew of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India.
15) Forget the numbers and just think about Indian test team in last 10 years, this man has played most number of match winning and match saving innings than any other in the side.

(compiled by Anoop KA)

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