Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has recalled asking the great Kapil Dev to bowl to him at the nets regularly during the team's Australia tour in 1999/00, considering the prodigious swing the latter was generating.
In the recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected, VVS Laxman was asked to narrate any story about Kapil Dev he had not shared till now.
The wristy stroke-maker started by wishing the great all-rounder on his birthday and observed he himself had taken up the game seriously after watching Kapil Dev and his team lift the 1983 World Cup.
"Firstly, I will like to wish Kapil paaji a very happy birthday, the ultimate match-winner Indian cricket has seen. He was an inspiration for me because I started taking cricket seriously after India won the 1983 World Cup. He is an amazing person and coach," said Laxman
Laxman revealed Kapil Dev bowled to him at the nets in Brisbane due to the paucity of net bowlers at the Indian team's disposal.
"I remember we landed in Brisbane in the 1999-2000 series. And in the first session, there was a lack of net bowlers. I was going to open in that Test series. So, I was the first one padded up and I remember Kapil paaji coming from three or four steps and bowling his typical out-swinger," stated Laxman
VVS Laxman pointed out Kapil Dev's deliveries swung almost as prodigiously as those of former South African pacer Fanie de Villiers, whom the former had faced in his debut series in 1996.
"After Fanie de Villiers if I have played anyone with that kind of outswing, it was Kapil paaji. In 1996, when I played Fanie de Villiers the ball used to start almost from leg-stump and it used to end up outside off-stump," observed Laxman
Laxman also disclosed he requested Kapil Dev to bowl to him daily in the nets during that tour.
"And Kapil paaji had the same kind of late swing and since then I told to Kapil paaji that every day I am having a net session he has to come and bowl to me. It was enjoyable spending time with Kapil paaji," added Laxman
"Kapil Dev is an inspiration for all cricketers" - VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman signed off by terming Kapil Dev as an inspiration for all budding cricketers and wished him a quick recovery from his recent health issues.
"He is an inspiration not only to me but for all cricketers. And I am sure you are recovering well after you had a heart attack and the good wishes and prayers of the entire country are always with you," concluded Laxman
Although VVS Laxman never played alongside Kapil Dev at the international level, he was an integral member of the Indian team during the latter's stint as the coach in 1999/00.
In the recent past, the duo had also enthralled the cricket aficionados with their commentary stints together.