VVS Laxman credits Rahul Dravid for his 281 at Eden Gardens
What's the story?
After nearly two decades of VVS Laxman's special knock of 281 against Australia, he has thanked compatriot Rahul Dravid for keeping him thoroughly motivated during the classy knock. Laxman said that that he was not fit enough to play that fixture at the Eden Gardens.
While releasing his autobiography '281 and beyond', the wristy batsman stated, "At the first place I was not going to the play the Test match and Andrew Leipus made me fit to take the field. Credit to Rahul Dravid, the way he kept motivating me at the other end and playing such a fantastic knock. But that partnership with Rahul was so important."
In the list of classic Test matches, the 2001 Test match at the Eden Garden will definitely have to feature. Following-on Australia in the second innings, India had to mammoth 274 to trial and then set a target for Australia.
India were 232-4 when Rahul Dravid joined Laxman at the crease and the duo added a humongous 376 runs for the fifth wicket to snatch the game away from the Aussies as Laxman finished with his career-best 281. Harbhajan Singh's heroics in the final innings helped India clinch victory from a herculean situation.
While the Australian team of the 2000s boasted a reputation of being immensely strong and tedious to break, VVS Laxman was a player who constantly gave them headaches throughout his career.
Well, after 17 long years after the glorious triumph at the Eden Gardens, Laxman has revealed that his former teammate Rahul Dravid helped him stay focused and motivated during the fantastic knock of 281. The duo was infamous for many colossal partnerships but the partnership in this game has always stayed ahead of the rest.
He went on to say that the 376 runs partnership with Dravid was vital to change the momentum in that match which resulted in a massive 171-run victory for India on Day 5. Laxman also thanked the then physio Andrew Leipus for helping him regain fitness and take the field against the Australians.
In the end, the right-handed batting legend added that his knock of 167 at Sydney in 2000-01 tour of Australia remains special because of the pressure which surrounded him during that innings.