VVS Laxman picks the biggest match-winner he has played with
Former India batsman VVS Laxman was part of India’s Test 'Fab Five' in the 2000s, which also featured Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and Virender Sehwag. Each of them have played some fabulous match-winning knocks for India at the peak of their powers. However, when it came to picking the greatest match-winner for India he has played with, Laxman chose another former skipper - Anil Kumble.
In an episode of the Very Very Special stories, Laxman termed the legendary leggie as the ‘the biggest match-winner’ he played with.
“My dear friend Anil Kumble is probably India’s biggest match-winner. The biggest match-winner I played with,” Laxman said.
In the episode, he also remembered the first match he played against Kumble during his younger days.
“It was a bad memory. I did well for Hyderabad and India U-19 so I was picked for the India B side in the Challengers Trophy. The match was happening in the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium. I can never forget the sound of the ball hitting my pad. Against a leggie you go on the backfoot try to hit it square of the wicket. I did that in the previous ball but the next ball struck my pads even before my bat came down, Anil was quick in the air,” recalled Laxman.
Adding to it, Kumble replied,
“I had heard about you. I knew you were a backfoot player. Probably that’s how I used to set up a player. I just got lucky that day and I also remember coming to you after that match telling you not to play on the backfoot.”
Both Laxman and Kumble were match-winners for India in their own right. Laxman played 134 Tests for India and is most remembered for the match-turning 281 against the near-invincible Aussies at Eden Gardens in 2001. On the other hand, Kumble finished as India’s leading Test wicket-taker, with 619 wickets in 132 Tests. He remains only the second player in history to have claimed all ten wickets in an innings in a Test match.Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:04 IST