VVS Laxman's five best Test knocks vs Australia in India
The artist from Hyderabad, with his steely grit, remained an unconquerable nemesis to the men from Down Under.
When you sit back and reflect on players who have dominated the game and make it into most world XI lists, you will tend to think of those who have great records against all oppositions home and away.
What is also interesting is to look at those who specialised in domination against a favoured opposition. That list would include Bradman against England, Gavaskar against West Indies, Andy Flower against India and Lara against Sri Lanka to name a few. Ask any of those gentlemen in the opposing camps and they will speak of these champion players in a bittersweet yet awestruck tone.
For me, there has not been a sweeter domination than the extraordinary works of VVS Laxman against an indomitable champion side that conquered all, Australia. Shane Warne spoke about nightmares against Sachin, well against VVS he got stung by beauty without realising what hit him.
Laxman in his heydeys, batting in India, dancing down the track and driving with and against the spin on turning tracks, filled the heart with joy. His stats against Australia in India read an impressive aggregate of 1198 runs at an average of 57.04 leaving an indelible mark on the Indian cricketing fraternity and fans for a long time to come.
On that note, take a look at Laxman’s top five innings against Australia (in India).
#1 200*, 3rd Test: Delhi, 1st innings, 2008
On a good batting track at the Feroz Shah Kotla, India won the toss and chose to bat first. Sehwag and Dravid were dismissed early and India were in a tricky position at 27/2. Sachin and Gambhir steadied the ship before the former was dismissed for Laxman to walk in at 157/3.
Leading 1-0 in the series, India had to beware of the comeback from the Aussies and not give an inch. From this moment on, the match could swing either way and Australia were looking to wrest control, looking to dismiss India under 300 with some fiery spells from Lee and Johnson.
What ensued was a masterclass from VVS to bring up his second double hundred against the Aussies. He pulled the fast bowlers with ease and drove through the covers as if it were a net session. The torment was languid and had a sense of inevitability; you just knew that Laxman was in the zone.
He smelt the fear of the opposition and numbed them into submission. India finished at 613 and the match ended in a draw. Gambhir also got a double hundred in a big partnership but this match will be remembered for the ultimate endorsement of Laxman’s dominance over the men from Down Under.